G8 heads of state around the summit table.
Traditionally,this sort of thing is smoothed over beforehand.
However, this timegovernments kept fighting publicly until this
afternoon. In the end,the divisions got papered over with rhetoric.
Most likely thepoliticians feel quite satisfied at having avoided a
publicdisagreement. But the differences remain obvious for all to
see.The final document agreed by the G8 also contains a promise
that allleaders will "seriously consider" the binding emission cuts
the EU andalmost all G8 members have committed to. In other words,
Bush willwatch, while the rest of the world, hopefully, acts.
Thedeal is "clearly not enough to prevent dangerous climate
change" saidDaniel Mittler, climate policy advisor of Greenpeace
International atthe summit. "Governments failed to commit to what
science tells us isnecessary here. They must now urgently do so at
the United Nations."
Whatthese leaders, of the world's wealthiest nations, fail to
take intoaccount is that reducing CO2 emissions by 50 percent,
compared to 1990levels, by 2050 is not a negotiable diplomatic
point - it is a physicalreality. And, as we've already learned from
the last 15 years,voluntary measures simply don't work.
Politics aside, the G8 areresponsible for over 80 percent of the
climate change we witness today,and still emit over 40 percent of
all global emissions. They aretherefore morally bound to act first
and act firmly.
Silver lining in a cloudy sky
Theisolation of the US on climate change was at least further
exposedthrough this whole process - leaving the Bush Administration
scramblingfor diversionary tactics.
Today's document also confirms thatthe United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change is the bestway forward, which sets
back Bush's plan for a US controlled parallelprocess. This means,
that the road is clear for real negotiations onbinding emission
cuts to start in earnest at the next climate meetingin Bali in
December this year.
Though as Greenpeace UK directorJohn Sauven pointed out,
"Scientists tell us we need to slash emissionsover the next decade
if we're to have a chance of preventing dangerousclimate change.
This document acknowledges the seriousness of thesituation then
ducks reality by offering weasel words like 'seriouslyconsidering',
as if this was an after dinner discussion rather than themost
important issue facing the world."
Into the exclusion zone
Tensof thousands of people have been peacefully protesting these
past days,both at Heiligendamm and at an alternative summit -
trying to get themessage through to the G8 that the time to act is
Yesterday,German police pre-emptively boarded our ship, the
Arctic Sunrise - eventhough it was well outside the summit's
exclusion zone. The police cameon without a search warrant and
confined the 24 crew before seizingGreenpeace equipment including
engines from inflatables, making theboats unusable, and the hull of
a Greenpeace hot air balloon.
Thismorning, 24 Greenpeace activists, using 11 speedboats took
the message"G8: Act Now!" to the waters around the beachfront
summit hotel. Theyentered the outer restricted area at 11am,
informing the police as theydid so. They came in from both east and
west sides, entering into theinner restricted zone 10 minutes
Police boats ran oversome of the Greenpeace boats - injuring six
activists and sendingseveral to the hospital. Fortunately, no one
suffered more than severebruising. The activists were trying to
deliver a petition calling forclear commitments on climate
At last report, the boats and 19 activists were in police
Thenext major UN Climate Conference will be in Bali, Indonesia,
December2007. Governments there must commit to the reductions that
sciencerequires, to stop catastrophic climate change.
-- More updates and
background on our G8 page --
Sign up to the 7steps
Show them you're ready to act. Sign up for the energy [r]evolution's 7steps today.
We don't accept money from governments or corporations -- and our financial independence is what allows us to pressure both. We rely on over 2 million people worldwide who give whatever they can. Please join us.