Greenpeace brands G8 summit a climate failure, and calls for real action at UN

Press release - 8 June, 2007
The G8 have failed to take the necessary action to halt dangerous climate change. The final deal is full of weasel words like 'seriously consider' but fails to agree the essential targets. Not taking action to halve global greenhouse gas emission by 2050, compared to 1990 levels, spells disaster for billions. Greenpeace, however, welcomed the fact that G8 have cleared the path for the next round of binding emission cuts to be set at the United Nations.

"The G8 have clearly failed to deliver what is necessary at Heiligendamm" said  Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International climate policy expert. "But the door is now open for the UN to take a lead in agreeing the binding targets the world desperately needs. In order for these negotiations to succeed, the seven Kyoto members of the G8 must now independently commit to reducing their emissions by 30% by 2020, and 80-90% by 2050. Merkel must further take real leadership and commit Germany to minus 40% by 2020."

"Only by making such commitments can these leaders have any credibility in the fight to prevent disastrous climate change which is the greatest global security, humanitarian and environmental threat of our time"

Greenpeace also condemned the lack of action to stop tropical deforestation, which is responsible for up to 25% of global CO2 emissions, second only to the energy sector.

"The G8 say they want to save the climate but failed to address deforestation, one of the key causes of climate change. They failed to set targets to halt deforestation and to provide the necessary money to keep trees standing" said Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace International forest expert.

Other contacts: Jo Kuper, Greenpeace International Communications +31 6 46 16 20 39Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International climate policy expert +49 171 876 5345

Notes: Updates from the summit and background materials:* Here is how the final G8 result compares to what the climate urgently needs:1. Climate change must be kept as far below a two degree temperature increase as possible, compared to pre-industrial levels.Verdict : Failed: The G8 reached no agreement. While the EU publicly reaffirmed its commitment to this goal, it failed to get other countries on board.Keeping the global temparature below 2 degrees is the difference between life and death for countless species and human beings. This target is not negotiable, it must be agreed at the UN.2. Global emissions must start falling within the next 10-15 years, and be cut by 50 per cent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.Verdict: Failed. No binding target was set.3. Industrialised countries must take the lead and commit themselves to 30 per cent cuts by 2020, and 80-90 per cent cuts by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels).Verdict: Failed. No target was set. The G8 said that industrialised countries must take the lead, but words are meaningless without action. The 7 Kyoto members must immediately make binding commitments to unilaterally cut their emissions.4. The G8 must clearly agree that the next climate negotiations in December will agree a formal mandate and timetable to secure the next round of binding and radical emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol, by 2009 at the latest.Verdict: Passed. The G8 committed to serious negotiations at the UN, starting in December. Significantly, Bush's attempt to set up a parallel process was foiled, and the US was forced to concede that the UN is the only legitimate forum. An end-date for the talks was set for 2009.5. Agree to ensure an end to the loss and degradation of intact forests by 2010 and of all forests by 2020: up to 25% of CO2 emissions come from tropical deforestation.Verdict: Failed. No target was set. The only small advance was that G8 leaders acknowledged the importance of preserving biodiversity and forest protection in the fight against climate change.

Exp. contact date: 2007-06-17 00:00:00