Antimicrobial resistance Benoit Doppagne/Getty Images

A Volvo Moment for Antimicrobial Resistance

Volvo's announcement that it will make only hybrid and electric cars after 2019 demonstrates that people and organizations are still capable of taking big, bold steps to solve major challenges. Among the many global problems today, the fight against antimicrobial resistance desperately needs its own breakthrough commitment.

LONDON – Last week, Volvo issued an inspiring announcement: it will no longer produce gasoline- or diesel-fueled cars after 2019. Volvo executives may be anticipating that traditional vehicles will be less profitable in the future. But whatever their motive, their decision has resonated widely. Within 24 hours, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would prohibit the sale of gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars by 2040.

Volvo’s decision confirms that things are changing for the auto industry, and it sends a positive message in the fight against climate change. But, more important, it demonstrates that people and organizations are still capable of taking big, bold steps to solve major challenges.

Among the many global problems today, the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) desperately needs a similar breakthrough commitment. For advocates, AMR’s appearance on the G20’s agenda last year, at the group’s summit in Hangzhou, China, represented a major triumph. But G20 leaders’ 2016 statement on AMR was not as bold as it could have been, because they did not want to set the bar too high. They knew that Germany, an enthusiastic champion in the fight against AMR, would be chairing the G20 this year, and could be expected to bring bold proposals to the table.

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