PGR serves as W7 advisor at the G7 Summit

Erika Moranduzzo’s dedication to climate justice and gender equality recently earned her a role as a W7 advisor at the recent G7 Summit in Italy.

Erika Moranduzzo, PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant at the School of Law, has been making significant strides with her research on climate-induced migration. Her work focuses on the legal protection of climate refugees – individuals forced to migrate due to the adverse effects of climate change – and the intersection between climate change and human rights.

Driven by her passion for using academic expertise to create real-world impact, Erika applied for the Women 7 (W7) advisor role at the Group 7 (G7) Summit, a renowned forum that brings together representatives of Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union.

The W7, a coalition of civil society organizations advocating for gender equality and women's rights, is an official engagement group of the G7. It has been actively integrating gender considerations into G7 discussions since 2018 to promote policies that advance gender equality and empower women. To become a W7 advisor, applicants must be a representative of a civil society organization and have strong expertise in gender equality.

Complementing her PhD, Erika acts as a Coordinator of the Climate and Rights Department at the Italian Climate Network. In this role, she collaborates with multiple NGOs and champions climate justice with an intersectional feminist approach at international climate negotiations, including the Conference of the Parties (COPs). Erika's academic expertise combined with her advocacy experience made her an ideal fit for this role.

Erika’s participation in the W7 involved months of collaboration with policy advisors from around the globe, culminating in the drafting of a Communiqué – a document filled with policy recommendations for G7 leaders to promote an equal, just, sustainable, and peaceful future for women and girls. This intensive process included regular online meetings and consensus-building discussions to ensure the recommendations were comprehensive and impactful.

The Communiqué was delivered to Eugenia Roccella, Italy's Minister of Family, Natality, and Equal Opportunities, on 8 May during the W7 Summit in Rome, in the presence of W7 policy advisors.

W7's policy recommendations significantly influenced the G7 Leaders' final declaration, shaping international commitments, especially towards developing countries. For example, the G7 Leaders incorporated specific gender equality commitments based on W7's Communiqué, including:

  • Combating hate, discrimination, sexual and gender-based violence (including tech-facilitated crimes and human trafficking).
  • Addressing the gender disparity in care work, aiming to support 200 million more women in the workforce by 2035 through initiatives like the World Bank's Invest in Childcare Initiative.
  • Endorsing a gender-transformative approach across foreign policy, humanitarian aid, and development cooperation, focusing on climate resilience, food security, education, and migration.

Regarding climate justice, W7 emphasized the importance of directing funds to boost climate resilience among women in developing nations. This led G7 Leaders to pledge 20 billion USD over three years for gender-focused climate initiatives, prioritizing disaster risk reduction and safe migration pathways aligned with human rights obligations.

Erika's main takeaways from the summit highlight the collaborative and inspiring environment she experienced, working alongside diverse experts united by a common goal. 

This experience gave me the opportunity to work with amazing feminist experts worldwide. I was struck by their unique and diverse expertise and experience in the field, which helped us inform and shape our recommendations.

Erika Moranduzzo, PhD candidate at the School of Law

Additionally, Erika gained insights into the G7 process and interacted with Italian government representatives, including Francesco Corvaro, the Italian special envoy for climate change. This provided her a rare chance to advocate for climate justice from an intersectional feminist perspective, overcoming typical barriers between civil society and governments.

Looking ahead, Erika aims to continue implementing her research beyond academia, influencing decisions in climate justice across stakeholders. She expresses:

“I would like my research to have an impact beyond academia and to inform and shape the work and decisions of all stakeholders in the field of climate justice, from government to civil society’s movements and NGOs.”

Reflecting on the value of these conferences for postgraduate researchers, Erika highlights the importance of supplementing PhD research with activities beyond academia. She advises:

“Working or being involved with NGOs or groups of civil society can open doors to roles as policy advisors in the international context. In my case, collaborating closely with NGOs focused on climate change and human rights gave me the chance to access international platforms such as COPs and G7.”

Erika plans to attend COP29 to oversee the implementation of commitments made by G7 leaders to enhance, among the others, climate resilience among women and girls of diverse backgrounds. This conference will emphasize climate finance and the New Collective Quantified Goals on Finance, offering insights into developed countries' dedication to addressing climate change.

Read more about the impactful research conducted by the School of Law here.