From the G7 Science appeal to react to pandemics and climate

We are entering an era of pandemics and we must do more to get prepared: this is what the experts gathered at the G7 science, the dialogue forum of the scientific academies of the G7 countries that have accompanied the annual summits for over fifteen years, said. At the heart of the appeal launched by the researchers are global health and climate change, the two issues that require more urgent action, with greater surveillance of new diseases, research for new antiviral drugs, protection of marine and polar ecosystems and achievement of climate neutrality. .

The joint recommendations of the academies, among which the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei represents Italy, were presented today to the German federal government, in view of the G7 summit scheduled for June 26-28 in Germany, at Schloss Elmau. “Europe in particular is facing a crossroads”, declares Roberto Antonelli, president of the Accademia dei Lincei. “It is necessary to move quickly and all united to overcome the emergencies that this historical moment puts before us – adds Antonelli – for our future, for our planet and for those who will live there after us”.

According to the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Peter Piot, urbanization, climate change, the growth of the world population and consequently of the demand for food, such as deforestation and the presence of conflicts and wars, are factors that will greatly increase the risk of ‘spillover’, or the risk of the passage of viruses from animals to humans. According to projections reaching 2070, the areas of the world where this leap will be most likely will be Africa, India, south-eastern China, but also Central and South America.

To better prepare for this new era of pandemics, Piot points to international commitment on some fundamental issues as essential: the strengthening of surveillance on the threats posed by new diseases, the sharing of data between institutions and research centers and the consolidation of health systems. . But it is also essential to carry out continuous research and development on drugs and vaccines, with an eye also to communication to the public in order to make them more understood and accepted.

Faced with the sharply accelerated loss of ice in Greenland and Antarctica, the melting of Arctic permafrost and the acidification and warming of ocean waters, the scientific academies united at the G7 are calling for a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, protection global marine ecosystems and increased international scientific cooperation. To be able to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, on the other hand, researchers recommend decarbonisation across all sectors and the construction of a resilient energy system, supporting a just energy transition through the introduction of an international renewable energy exchange system. and a global CO2 pricing mechanism.

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