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|‘business As Usual’ Will Only Bring Us More Pandemics, This Oxford Economist Say by Buddiesy: 2:44am On Jun 11, 2021|
The seven world leaders gathering on Friday in Cornwall, England, for the G7 summit face some of the toughest problems in years: staving off climate disaster, figuring out how to vaccinate the world against COVID-19, halting Russian cyberattacks, instituting a minimum global corporate tax; resolving trade disputes—to name just a few items on the table.
That’s a daunting list, even for seven very rich countries—the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy. In the end, their talks could fall far short of what’s needed.
So says Ian Goldin, professor of globalization and development at Oxford University and the founding director of the Oxford Martin School, the university’s interdisciplinary research center. Goldin, an economist, was vice president of the World Bank until 2006, was once an economic adviser to Nelson Mandela, and has served as a consultant for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund.
groundbreaking change—and it had better come fast to stave off spiraling global crises. The book offers a blueprint for choices governments and businesses need to make. “This needs to be acted on before the impact of the pandemic fades and we are lulled into complacency,” he writes.
In an interview, shortened and edited for clarity, Goldin laid out for Fortune what he thinks needs doing:
Keeping on the current track, there will be more pandemics, more climate change, more geopolitical tensions, more inequality—and a massive reversal of globalization.
“Business as usual” brought us this pandemic. We’ve come close to a global pandemic several times in recent years: Ebola, SARS, H1N1, and others. Unless we make a big commitment to stop them there will be many more, possibly much worse than COVID-19. They come from more and more people globally, living more densely, close to domestic and wild animals, and with global connectivity through airports and other travel spreading any virus more quickly. They [pandemics] can be stopped if countries work together.
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