Oxfam reaction to the G7 communiqué

Published: 14th June 2024

Responding to the G7 communiqué published today, Oxfam International’s Head of Inequality Policy Max Lawson, said:

“Talking about taxing the super-rich for the first time in their 50-year history was the thin silver lining in a big black cloud of G7 failure for people living in poverty.”

On taxing the super-rich:

“For the first time in their 50-year history, G7 leaders all agree that we need to increase taxes on the richest people. This is a big deal ―the super-rich systematically pay lower taxes than cleaners or teachers; instead they need to pay their fair share. That's what the majority of people are telling these leaders, and it's economic common-sense.

“G7 leaders need now to fully get behind President Lula and his proposal as G20 chair to have a formal agenda on working together to tax ultra-rich individuals across the world, to rapidly reduce the extreme inequality between plutocrats and the people.”

On Gaza:

“G7 leaders have clearly picked a side ―and it's not the side of humanity. They ask Israel to comply with its obligations under international law but say nothing about potential genocide, more than 37,000 Palestinian children, women and men killed by Israel, thousands of illegally detained Palestinian prisoners, or the recent International Court of Justice ruling to halt military operations in Rafah and allow unfettered humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“Israel and its G7 allies must move from words to action, implement their proposals, remove Israeli forces from Gaza and end the occupation. Hopes must become reality, the time for talking is done.”

On the West Bank:

“The G7 fails Israelis and Palestinians alike by not calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and the dismantlement of all illegal Israeli settlements. The G7’s tired formula fails in every way and can’t create a world where Palestinians and Israelis are free to live in peace with justice, human and civil rights.”

On Yemen:

“The G7's double standards are glaring —they seem to be more concerned with protecting commercial vessels and shipping lanes in the Red Sea than addressing the humanitarian crisis and years of blockade affecting millions of Yemeni people."

On climate:

“The G7 talks a big game about sticking to the 1.5°C target and getting off fossil fuels to keep the world from tilting into a climate inferno, but their actions scream otherwise. These major polluters, who are primarily to blame for the climate crisis that is already destroying homes, hopes and lives, still aren’t cutting their fair share of carbon emissions. Not only that ―they’re now signaling they intend to pursue harmful schemes like liquefied methane gas exports and heavy reliance on carbon offsets.

“We’re not far off from the COP in Baku, but there hasn’t been much progress on setting a new climate finance goal that will channel greater funds toward urgently needed climate action in Global South countries and repairing the damage rich countries have caused. Until now, rich countries have provided too little climate finance, and too much of it as loans. It’s a great climate hypocrisy that poorer countries are being forced to take on billions of dollars in debt to protect themselves from climate breakdown they have done so little to cause. Considering the G7’s significant historical and ongoing debt to the Global South —from colonialism, environmental destruction and exploitation of people— it is ethically indefensible to impose such financial burdens on these countries.”

On the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII):

“The PGII’s approach has rightly been described as the ‘Wall Street Consensus’ ―taking as its starting point that the only way to develop infrastructure is through using public money to subsidize and bribe the private sector.  

“These types of investments have a bad track record. They drive up debt and lock governments into paying over the odds for years into the future. Communities too often aren’t consulted, leading to displacement, human rights violations, and inadequate compensation.

“Valuable taxpayer money, whether from the Global North or South, should only go to private investors or lenders as a last resort, after exploring all other options."

On food and agriculture:

“In less than a decade, the number of extremely hungry people has nearly doubled. The G7 could easily have provided the money to fill the funding gap to tackle global hunger, but the Apulia Food Systems Initiative agreed this week in Italy completely fails to do this.

“It’s good that the G7 has talked about importance of smallholder farmers, not just big agribusiness, but the discussions were completely opaque. Smallholder farmers need to be central to any action to end hunger, helping to shape and design what needs to be done.    

“Public-private partnerships proved yet again a major focus of this summit. In the past, these partnerships in the G7 have been top-down and disruptive of local food systems, such as the 2012 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NASAN) initiative, which drove commercialization of African agriculture and undermined rather than supported the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.”

Notes to editors

Contact information

Annie Thériault in Italy (G7 media center) | annie.theriault@oxfam.org | +51 936 307 990
Maria Teresa Alvino in Italy | mariateresa.alvino@oxfam.it | +39 348 980 3541

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