Leaked drafts show G8 leaders not doing much about climate change
Leaked drafts on the current stage of negotiations regarding the position of the G8 countries in the build-up to the Summit show that people are justified to be immensely concerned:
BBC’s Newsnight program which aired on Thursday 16th June revealed a number of important issues concerning a 2nd leak on the climate change text for the G8 Heads of State to sign up to at the end of July, when they meet.
The text, a journalist reported, has been watered down and there is so little in there in terms of substantial actions because there has been such strong US influence on the text, that the industrialized nations may even be going backwards from any kind of international concensus on climate change.
The first draft at the end of May itself was criticized for it omitted targets and timetables on cutting CO2 emmissions. The second, by comparison, is even leaner and meaner, with the differences being really stark:
There is no new money whatsoever for addressing climate change
The first draft had a few things (though no figures) mentioned, such as:
new energy projects
incentives to get other countries on board through tax breaks for example
encouraging innovation through rewards
Now, all that is gone.
The G8 countries appear not to even be agreed on the science because of very heavy, heavy exertion by the Americans.
Inter Press Service also reported on this, and is quoted at length:
The Observer newspaper in the UK also revealed more explicitly that it was the United States moving to spoil the climate accord in the run-up to the meetings:
So, not only is there contention but the rich nations do not see it as their responsibility to show leadership, yet (representing a minority percentage of the world’s population) they have historically (and currently) emitted most of the greenhouse gases3 that have caused the rapid climate change.
Instead of seeing linkages between these two issues, the BBC journalist also noted that the G8 governments seem to want to create trade-offs between the Africa/debt issue and climate change; that you can have one or the other, or make sacrifices in one for advances in the other.
Quite frankly, the silliness in this is in how little the amount of money required actually is. It is not lack of money to get this done, it is political will and geopolitics. At the same time, this risks lives and perhaps the future of the planet.