“We have no time to waste.”
Washington, D.C. — On Saturday, September 12, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hosted a virtual meeting of political leaders from the G7 nations on the subject of “Addressing the Climate Crisis with Economic and Environmental Justice for All.” The featured a keynote appearance by EFI founder Ernest Moniz and Dr. Jane Goodall, revered primatologist, environmental activist and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute.
“Before I was on lockdown in the U.K., where I am now… I was traveling the world 300 days a year and I saw with my own eyes the melting of the ice, the rising of the sea, the people dispossessed on their island homes because of high tides,” said Goodall. “Tackling climate change as a global community has never been more important.
Both Moniz and Goodall noted that as the world reels from the COVID-19 economic crisis and record-breaking natural disasters, global leaders must accelerate international action on the climate crisis.
The Goodall-Moniz panel followed opening remarks by the Dalai Lama, who warned the gathering: “our selfish, self-centered attitude, thinking only of ‘me,’ ‘my nation,’ ‘my group,’ is very narrow-minded. The reality is that the future of the whole world, of seven billion human beings, is interdependent. Now the time has come to think of the whole of humanity.”
Pelosi hosted the event and was joined by other legislative leaders, including: Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the UK House of Commons; Anthony Rota, Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Canada; EU Parliament president David Maria Sassoli; and the leaders of parliaments in France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
The parliamentary leaders and Speaker Pelosi issued a joint declaration: “the climate crisis is the existential threat of our times.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama echoed this in his opening remarks, calling the climate crisis the world’s foremost priority.
Moniz underscored the need to build broad coalitions that include both the public and private sectors. In his address he identified six elements needed to achieve ambitious net-zero emissions by 2050:
- Building broad coalitions;
- Regionally tailored solutions with social justice at the center;
- An all-of-the-above energy strategy that acknowledges there are no silver bullet solutions;
- Jobs, jobs, jobs — energy sector job creation will be key to tackling the climate crisis and accelerating economic growth;
- Domestic & allied supply chains; and,
- Supercharged innovation.
The importance of coalitions was echoed by Dr. Goodall, recounting her time with oil and gas companies who were committed to doing better. “If you don’t sit down and talk to people, how will you ever expect them to change?” Watch an archived video of the G7 meeting here.
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