Leading Astronauts from the USA, Japan and South Korea have joined forces in a new short film targeting G7 leaders, who meet today in Cornwall, UK.
Their new film, titled “Call to Earth: G7”, shares the astronauts’ message of international cooperation, as the world faces a generation-defining moment tackling the dual threats of COVID-19 and climate change.
NASA veterans Nicole Stott, Ron Garan, and Rusty Schweickart are joined by Naoko Yamazaki (Japan/JAXA) and Soyeon Yi (South Korea), as they deliver a message of hope, having all experienced the unique vantage point of seeing Earth from space, where it’s clear the only border that matters is the thin blue line of atmosphere that protects us all.
All of the G7 countries are also key partners in the decades-long International Space Station (ISS) program. The ISS is more than just a symbol of international cooperation, it is a testament to what can be achieved when nations come together with a shared pursuit of knowledge and science for humanity’s advancement – ultimately to solve our most challenging problems in a way that transcends borders – “Off the Earth, For the Earth”.
Nicole Stott (USA), who worked on the Space Shuttle and ISS, said: “Every day for the past 20 years, the partnership with over 15 countries of the International Space Station has demonstrated the power of living and working peacefully and successfully together as an international community with a shared higher purpose”.
Stott calls on world leaders to “help build a better future for all life on Earth” as she reminds G7 leaders of their previous commitment to ISS partnership working for the greater good. She adds: “We have the power to make choices that will result in a future for all life on this planet that is as beautiful as it looks from space.”
Ron Garan (USA), having worked on the Space Shuttle and ISS said: “With COVID-19, for the first time in human history, every single person on the planet is faced with an undeniable, obvious, existential threat. What that illustrates is something that us astronauts have seen from space – the undeniable fact that we are all in this together”.
Garan asks leaders attending the summit to lead by example as he adds: “Look at things from a long-term perspective, look at things from a multi-generational perspective. Set aside your differences and work together towards the greater good.”
Naoko Yamazaki (Japan) having worked on the Space Shuttle and ISS said: “The harmony of nature and civilization needs to be protected by putting our knowledge, wisdom, and actions all together.”
Soyeon Yi (South Korea) having worked on the ISS said: “I greatly enjoyed looking down on the Earth through the small window of my cabin. Our beautiful planet, the Earth, is the greatest gift we have received.”
Rusty Schweickart (USA), having worked on Apollo 9, a flight that prepared humanity for our first steps on the Moon said: “Earth is so spectacularly beautiful, because it supported – and continues to support – the evolution of life”.
The stakes are high as leaders from the UK, US, EU, Japan and Canada plus heads of government from South Korea, South Africa, and Australia meet in Cornwall, UK, for the annual G7 summit. Pressure is rising on the G7 to agree on a plan to radically ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations in the developing world and agree to new climate finance commitments and action.
ActionAid and Constellation are working together to help spread the astronaut message of international cooperation. ActionAid is part of a coalition of almost 200 charities from around the world that is demanding vaccines for all, in order to stop the pandemic and start the recovery.
Without a commitment to drastically increase COVID-19 vaccines delivery to the Global South, lives will continue to be needlessly lost to the pandemic and the virus will mutate. Vaccines for All would stop the virus and open a window of opportunity for the next big task – ensuring our survival through the protection of our planetary life support system, Spaceship Earth.
Julia Sánchez, Secretary General of ActionAid International, said:
“Without a vaccine for all, the UN Climate Talks (COP26) could face new challenges, with delegates from the Global South unable to fully participate. These crucial talks were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but the clock is still ticking. We need all countries present at the negotiating table, not just rich nations that can afford the vaccine. Low-income countries on the frontlines of climate change have most at stake and must be present to submit tougher climate plans to deliver climate finance and action.
“The G7 is a first step on this journey, where world leaders have the chance to make generation-defining choices on vaccines for all, with a view to resolving two of the biggest intertwined challenges we face as humanity today, coronavirus and climate change”.
Contact: Gemma Parkin email@example.com +254 (0)743145305
Notes to editors:
About Constellation: Constellation is a coalition of international astronauts from diverse backgrounds. After completing their missions in space, they have come together to begin a new mission to tell their stories and inspire social good. www.constellation.earth
About ActionAid: ActionAid is a global federation working for a world free of poverty and injustice. www.actionaid.org
Great Recovery Collective: is a coalition of more than 200 INGOs campaigning on the dual injustices of COVID-19 and Climate Change. More detail on the charities’ asks to governments can be found here.