G8 Summit: Serious thinking, no action!!
The G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, of the 8 richest nations and 5 developing countries, ended with only promises but no definite actions to cut down the Green House Gases (GHGs). Their joint statement released on June 8, 2007, reaffirmed their commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its objectives of mitigating and adapting to climate change. “The objectives will be met in accordance with our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities" statement says.
Furthermore, the communiqué issued by the G8 countries -- the USA, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy and Canada -- on June 7 said they would “consider the commitments” by the EC, Japan and Canada to cut emissions by 50% by 2050. “Taking into account the scientific knowledge as represented in the recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports, global greenhouse gas emissions must stop rising, followed by substantial global emission reductions,” the text says. Experts in this area predicted a global reduction in emissions of GHGs of 50% below 1990 levels, by 2050 in order to keep the temperature elevation of about 2 degrees Celsius. It must be seen with this perspective that the countries should establish a time frame for the reduction. But no targets for reducing carbon emissions or temperature changes were announced in the Summit. Instead leaders agreed to "stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". This is generally seen as a disappointment as any delay in this matter will have a high impact on climate change. This means that the plea from various organizations, scientific community and environmentalist were not properly taken into consideration. Weeks back, the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) and science academies from the G8 countries and the “+ 5” countries such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa had presented statements to German prime minister Angela Merkel, calling for united global action on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation.
The US and Russia promised to take part in talks on a new international treaty to combat global warming, in anticipation of the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. This is generally seen as a positive step. However, the earlier proposal by US president George W. Bush, on a separate agenda by 15 most polluters set a long-term goal on emissions, is widely seen as a delaying tactic by United States. The US president wanted the developing countries such as India and China to be part of the agreement. China has already rejected mandatory caps on emissions, saying they are unfair for developing countries. While the major contributor to the Global warming continued to be the developed nations, the concern of developing countries being part of the agreement, can not be rejected.
Whatever be the reasons or logic, it is true that there is no target is set for the reduction of GHS by the G8+5 countries and hence the globe will continue to warm up. It will not wait for political decisions. We need action, not promises!!.
More Reading: http://www.scidev.net/, http://www.infochangeindia.org/