From a scientific standpoint
G20 Summit

From a scientific standpoint

The Science 20 has identified key challenges that should be tackled by the Bali Summit and calls on the G20 leaders to commit to supporting these priorities to recover together, recover stronger

The Science 20 engages the international scientific community in a dialogue to present G20 policymakers with science-driven, consensus-based recommendations for each summit’s priorities. The 2022 G20 has been entrusted to Indonesia with a theme of ‘recover together, recover stronger’, with three significant pillars: the global health architecture, digital economy transformation and energy transition. The goal is to develop a concrete action plan for a green, inclusive, resilient and sustainable global economic recovery, mainly after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Climate change and health 

The S20 translated those pillars into which challenges should be tackled by the Bali Summit, covering building resilient health systems, enhancing the adaptive capacity of health systems to climate change, bolstering multidisciplinary science and technology for pandemic preparedness and climate change, guaranteeing that people are at the centre, and strengthening the nexus between data–research–policy for climate change, pandemic preparedness and economic recovery.

Environmental and health issues are high priorities for the S20. Data show that climate change affects human health and the ecological environment regionally and globally, and also affects the environmental order and all living things. Although scientists forecasted greenhouse gas effects two decades ago, the public still resisted the inevitability of the phenomenon of climate change. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic triggered public awareness that climate change is real, with Covid-19 among its impacts.

As health systems are the main line of defence in protecting people from the effects of climate change, it is vital to ensure that health systems can continue to deliver essential services during extreme events and under climate stress. Changing conditions will drive the risk of zoonosis, increasing the urgency of implementing the One Health approach, which brings together human, animal and plant health. Climate change mitigation and adaptation must be embedded in all pandemic recovery plans, including in the health sector.

People at the centre

Under Italy’s presidency in 2021, the Science 20 and Social Sciences and Humanity 20 were interlinked. So Indonesia’s S20 decided to combine them in one communiqué. The issue of “guaranteeing that people are at the centre” bridged the proposed issues and recommendations for S20 2022 as a common response from the science academies, in outlining their priorities and proposing an action plan.

The 2022 S20 recommends involving people in building an interconnected health system and the digital economy, which benefit and create safety nets for all, to ensure sustainability and resilience for both society and planet. People must be at the centre – especially those in vulnerable situations – in both the global health architecture and the digital economy transformation.

Bolstering cooperation

The S20’s recommendations and actions aim to promote more inclusive and resilient growth for all. G20 science academies need to strengthen their cooperation to overcome climate change, enhance health system resilience, and fortify the contributions from science and technology, in order to improve the quality of life for all. The G20 should foster countries’ ability to enhance multidisciplinary collaborative work with various stakeholders, using science and technology.

The 2022 S20 summit agreed that interdisciplinary collaboration and transdisciplinary engagement with various parties are key to success for all. To begin, an online symposium can be organised on a particular multidisciplinary theme dealing with global challenges to assist in building knowledge capacity and skills for the research and development needed. As science academies are centres of highly qualified professionals, they are an ideal source of speakers and mentors, who support the principles of reliable data repositories, data sharing resources, open access and open science. This is an opportunity that the S20 brings to the attention of the G20 leaders.

Science-based policies

Ambitious political will and strong policymaking are needed, supported by evidence- and science-based policies that include the requirements to accelerate research and development in order to benefit both people and planet.

G20 members should commit to supporting science and technology cooperation and expand access across all members. Sharing knowledge, technology and financial support among G20 members is one mechanism to achieve this commitment.