G8 and Harper fail Greenpeace climate scorecard

    TORONTO, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The G8 summit has failed to take the
necessary actions to stop dangerous climate change.
    The final G8 agreement failed to support mandatory targets to lower
greenhouse gas emissions, saying only that the G8 would "consider seriously"
halving global emissions by 2050. Failure to achieve deep emission reductions
spells disaster for billions of people around the globe.
    "The G8 have failed to meet the climate change challenge," said Dave
Martin, climate coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. "Stephen Harper made a
significant contribution to this failure by backing George Bush. He has lost
all credibility by supporting a call for urgent action at the G8, while
refusing to support urgent action in Canada to meet our Kyoto commitment."
    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
climate conference in Indonesia in December.
    "On a positive note, the door is open for the UN to set binding targets
in December," said Martin. "For these negotiations to succeed, the seven Kyoto
members of the G8, including Canada, should commit to reducing their emissions
30 per cent by 2020, and 80-90 per cent by 2050."

    G8 and Harper climate scorecard

    Here is an evaluation of the G8 Summit decision on climate change - what
was needed and what was done...

    1. There is broad scientific consensus that in order to prevent dangerous
climate change, the global average temperature increase (from pre-industrial
times) must be kept as far below two degrees Celsius as possible.

    Verdict: Failed. The G8 reached no agreement. While European Union
publicly reaffirmed its commitment to this goal, other countries failed to get
on board. Stephen Harper has refused to support this science-based rationale
for tougher emission reductions.

    2. Global emissions must start falling within the next 10-15 years, and
be cut 50 per cent by 2050, from 1990 levels.

    Verdict: Failed. No binding target was set.

    3. Industrialized countries, including Canada, must take the lead and
commit themselves to 30 per cent cuts by 2020, and 80-90 per cent cuts by 2050
(from 1990 levels).

    Verdict: Failed. No target was set. The G8 said that industrialized
countries must take the lead, but words are meaningless without action. The
seven Kyoto members of the G8 must immediately make binding commitments to
unilaterally cut their emissions.

    4. The G8 must clearly agree that the upcoming UN climate negotiations in
Indonesia in December will agree to a formal mandate and timetable to secure
the next round of binding 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 failed, 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.

For further information:

For further information: Jane Story, Communications Officer, Greenpeace
Canada, cell: (416) 930-9055; Dave Martin, Climate Coordinator, Greenpeace
Canada, cell: (416) 627-5004; Steven Guilbeault, Climate Campaigner,
Greenpeace Canada, cell: (514) 231-2650; Daniel Mittler, Climate Policy
Expert, Greenpeace International, cell: +49 171 876 5345 (in Heiligendamm)

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