With world at crossroads, G7 falls short of business expectations

  • 26 August 2019

ICC has issued a statement expressing disappointment at the significant lack of collective leadership from the leaders of the world’s largest industrialised economies at conclusion of the G7 Summit.

ICC — the world’s largest business organisation, representing over 45 million companies — described the Summit as a missed opportunity to tackle growing economic and environmental challenges through coordinated action on the part of G7 economies.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “It is increasingly clear to business leaders that we now stand at a crossroads in terms of the future of the global economy and our planet. What’s concerning is that G7 leaders seem intent on each forging their own path on major global challenges. The collective political leadership needed to deal with a range of systemic risks — from Brexit to the climate emergency — appears dangerously absent. Despite good intentions of the French Presidency, today’s outcome will have done little to bolster confidence in global governance within the business community.”

Mr Denton emphasised, in particular, the lack of coordinated action by the world’s largest industrialised economies to deal with growing trade tensions: “The root causes of recent tariff escalations can only be definitively addressed through meaningful reform of the multilateral trading system. The G7 has missed a major opportunity to stake out an actionable plan to modernise the World Trade Organization aimed at making trade work for people and our planet. There won’t be too many more opportunities before beggar-thy-neighbour trade policies start to hit workers and families hard in the pocket. Continued tariff hikes will ultimately bring real-world costs.”

Referring to the growing climate emergency, Mr Denton added: “With the United Nations Climate Action Summit just weeks away, we are seeing an unprecedented mobilisation from businesses and civil society in support of greater urgency in tacking climate change. The Biarritz Summit has fallen well short on this call to action. The pledge of coordinated assistance to tackle the Amazonian fires is to be welcomed — but it shouldn’t take parts of the world going up in flames for leaders to act in support of our planet. The business community’s message to world leaders is clear: the time for urgent action on climate is now.”