Greenpeace demands at G8 –

Real action on climate change and food crisis, business as usual is not an option

Press release - 5 July, 2008
G8 leaders in Hokkaido, Japan (7-9 July) have the responsibility to fight climate change through committing to binding emission reduction targets and ending the global food crisis by addressing the causes behind it. These include industrial farming, bad harvests related to climate change, unjust terms of trade and the rush for unsustainable biofuels.

Business as usual is not an option for energy generation and the way food is produced, says Greenpeace. Renewables and increased efficiency are key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions not the false and misleading claims of 'clean' coal or expensive and dangerous nuclear power. These simply won't deliver the urgent emissions cuts needed to tackle climate change.

"The G8 must finally take action on climate change. By adopting binding emission reduction targets and investing in an energy revolution based on real solutions - a switch to renewable energies and massive increase in efficiency - the G8 would give a constructive response to rocketing oil prices and finally tackle climate change," stressed Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International's climate policy expert.

Greenpeace is calling on the G8 to agree to:

•    Keep global average temperature increases as far below a 2 degree Celsius rise as possible (compared to pre-industrial levels);

•     Global emissions have to start falling by 2015 and must be cut by more than 50 percent by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels);

•    Industrialised countries must take the lead and commit to cut their emissions by at least 30 percent by 2020 and 80-90 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels;

•    Japan must unilaterally commit to a 25-40 percent cut by 2020 to be a credible summit host;

•    Recognise that protecting intact forests is crucial for preserving biodiversity and combating climate change.

The food crisis can only be resolved by addressing the core causes behind it. We need farming that is ecological and bio-diverse, rather than continuing with chemical-intensive farming or pursuing the false promise of genetic engineering, which is a threat to food security rather than a solution to the crisis.

"The G8 must shift investments to ecological methods that provide higher yields, better food and more resilience to climate change. If we continue to treat our soil like dirt, contaminate our water with toxic chemicals, and plant more GE crops that yield less and fail under bad weather conditions, we will not solve the current food crisis," said Jan van Aken, agriculture expert at Greenpeace International.

Greenpeace is calling on the G8 to:

•    Increase public investment in research and development on ecological and climate change-resilient farming;

•    Stop funding for GE crops and prohibit patents on seeds;

•    Phase out the most toxic chemicals and eliminate environmentally destructive agricultural subsidies;

•    Protect domestic food production and drop mandatory targets to increase the ratio of biofuels used in transport.

Other contacts: Contacts at the G8 Media Centre in Toyako, Hokkaido:• Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International G8/climate expert, +49 171 876 5345• Manami Suzuki, Greenpeace Japan climate campaigner, +81 80 5416 6506• Beth Herzfeld, Greenpeace International press officer, +44 (0) 7717 802 891

Notes: For further information see