"President Putin seems to still have doubts about the science
ofclimate change, leaving him and President Bush as the only major
worldleaders who still have these doubts. But he agrees that there
is a needto act, and he reaffirmed his commitment to the Kyoto
Protocol," saidGreenpeace International Executive Director Gerd
Leipold at theconclusion of this evening's meeting.
Greenpeace believes that climate change is the greatest threat
tohumanity and human civilization, and the unsustainable production
anduse of energy from fossil fuels is its primary cause. Decisive
actionin the next decade or two is critical to avoid the worst
disruption ofthe climate system. Respect for the natural limits of
our planet mustbecome the primary driver for energy strategies at
"We are at an historic crossroads," said Leipold. "In the next
twodecades we will choose either the path of fossil fuels and
nuclearpower, climate chaos and war; or we will begin the shift to
a trulysustainable energy system, equitably shared by all peoples.
No one ever went to war over the wind or the sun."
"We call on the G-8 to lead this transformation, starting
withrecognition of the need for action, and concrete steps to
decrease ourreliance on the global trade in fossil and nuclear
fuels which createpolitical tension, war, the risk of nuclear
proliferation, debt andcorruption as well as air pollution and
climate change," Leipoldcontinued.
In addition to the climate and energy issue, NGO leaders pressed
theRussian President on the status of the new NGO law in Russia.
PresidentPutin admitted that the law could be changed 'if problems
occur', butNGOs feel that there are problems already, and that the
law is ripe forabuse. Other issues raised were human security in
relation to the 'waron terrorism', and poverty and development
issues following on fromlast year's G-8 focus on Africa.
Earlier in the day, President Putin attended part of the 'Civil
G-8'conference in Moscow, gathering more than 600 representatives
ofnon-governmental organizations, where participants passed
resolutionscalling for the shift away from fossil fuels and nuclear
power tocreate true energy security through the use of energy
efficiency andrenewable energy. Resolutions were also passed on
human security,education, the fight against HIV/AIDS, sustainable
development policiesand global security and the interests of
society. For a G-8 head ofstate to spend so much time with NGOs in
the preparation for a summitis unprecedented.
Note to editors:
The meeting with President Putin was attended by the leaders
ofGreenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature, Amnesty International,
Oxfam,Social Watch, CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen
Participation, ActionAid International, Consumers
Human Rights Watch, Global Campaign for Education, Global Call
forAction Against Poverty, International Council of Women and
Other contacts: Gerd Leipold, Executive Director, Greenpeace International - +31 6 2956 1386
VVPR info: Sergey Tsyplenkov, Executive Director, Greenpeace Russia - +7 495 766 2888Vera Bakasheva, Greenpeace Russia press officer - +7 903 219 3287
Exp. contact date: 2006-07-16 00:00:00