From Injustice to Repair: Civil Society Organizations Push for Climate and Social Justice Ahead of the G7 Summit

May 17, 2023

APNED at the climate action in front of the Japanese Embassy in Manila

From Injustice to Repair: Civil Society Organizations Push for Climate and Social Justice Ahead of the G7 Summit

Ahead of the 49th G7 Summit on May 19-21 in Hiroshima, Japan, The Asia Pacific Network of Environment Defenders (APNED) joins fellow environmental defenders, including 350 Pilipinas, Youth Advocates for Climate Action – Philippines (YACAP), International League of People’s Struggle, and People’s Rising for Climate Justice in the Philippines to call for climate justice at the Japanese Embassy in Manila. Environmental defenders raised demands for reparations for climate change losses and damages, accountability for human rights violations, climate mitigation, and further support for climate adaptation of poor and vulnerable countries. 

The International Group of Seven (G7) is a consolidated group of the world’s most industrialized and wealthiest nation-states. Representatives of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan constitute this informal bloc. Their annual summit for this year will convene to discuss critical global issues such as economic security and resilience, food security, health and development, and challenges and issues in climate, energy, and the environment.

APNED is in solidarity with the call for climate action as part of our vision for just and environmentally sound development in light of the long-standing policy issues and historically unjust economic and development activities of the G7 that have perpetuated social and environmental injustice to the most vulnerable and underdeveloped countries. 

The United States, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada are in the top 10 for most cumulative carbon emissions from 1850 to 2021, and the US leads the pack with a 20.3% contribution to global carbon emissions, pushing us to confront the impacts of climate change. The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our time. It is a matter of saving the world’s final environmental frontiers and conserving our natural resources. It also raises the issue of our ability to safeguard fundamental human rights and protect environmental human rights defenders on the frontlines. Yet, the data presented shows five of the seven countries in the G7 bear the most significant historical responsibility for the climate crisis that ravages poorer countries. Therefore, they should be held accountable for the collective damage incurred and bring environmental and social justice and reparations to the most impacted nations and communities.

The G7 countries also have a stronghold of the world’s wealth through the global presence of their multinational companies (MNCs). Additionally, they significantly influence international policy-making because of their powerful status. But their stature comes at a heavy toll. Their pursuit of wealth and power through their MNCs has violated the human rights of poorer nations. What’s even more damning is the policies to address the climate and human rights crisis come from the privileged few, including the G7, who continue to perpetuate global injustice. 

APNED continues to call for justice and reparations for the frontline communities who continue to weather the storm of climate change and environmental degradation impacts. We also demand further support and safeguards of environmental defenders who do vital work in protecting the environment.   Finally, we echo their cries for their demands to be heard and push for their substantial inclusion in the global-decision making process of tackling the climate and human rights crisis. 

The interconnected nature of the climate crisis on human rights constitutes the calls for an immediate shift in structure, policy, and view on global development. Leading countries and decision-makers must consider overhauling the current system and usher in a system where the welfare of the people and the protection of nature takes precedence over super profits and social and environmental justice principles takes over from corporate capture as the primary guiding framework. 

Let’s raise our voices and demand justice and accountability from the G7 for a just, sustainable, and more equitable world!