CSOs Condemn G8’s distorted climate ‘vision’
Hokkaido, Japan- As the 3-day G8 Summit comes to a close today, no real progress is being made on the climate change agenda as the world’s wealthiest nations push for self-serving interests while sidestepping real commitments in significantly curbing their greenhouse gas emissions.
“Judging from the Summit’s communiqué on the environment and climate change released yesterday, the G8 countries are not ready to commit to fulfilling their responsibilities in mitigating climate change. While they reconfirm the significance of the IPCC report and recognize the need for a 50% reduction in global emissions by 2050, no definite timeline, plans and actions are being agreed on,” says Maria Theresa Lauron of the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN), composed of 50 research organizations from 19 countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Worse, Lauron adds that the Summit has been manipulated by the US, UK, Japan and World Bank in pushing for market-based mechanisms and solutions long criticized by CSOs, academics and even by a number of Southern governments to be unsustainable.
In particular is the G8’S support for the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds including the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund which basically seek to scale up public and private finance to deploy cleaner energy technologies to developing nations, in addition to supporting adaptation.
Syamsul Ardiansyah of the Institute for National and Democratic Studies in Indonesia, member organization of APRN, questions the irony, “Why will you allow an institution with a horrible record of supporting fuel extraction to manage climate fund?” Ardiansyah, citing figures from EndOilAid.org, adds that WB’s support for fossil fuel extraction has increased 93% in 2006 compared to 2005, its lending for fossil fuels increased at a rate exceeding that of lending for renewable technologies.
US President George Bush is pushing for clean technology and domestic oil production as solutions to climate change, which critics argue, is a way of justifying his administration’s plan to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling and oil exploration. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a site that is home to a number of protected species. In addition, the Bush wanted China and India to make the same commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Aside from clean technologies, the G8 countries are promoting market mechanisms such as tax incentives, performance-based regulation, emissions-trading and taxes and consumer labeling. Alarming is also the fact that these wealthy nations are aggressively advancing the use of biofuels. PERSON C OF ORGANIZATION C states, “It is ironic that the global food security is one of the issues discussed and yet, even the WB reports that biofuels production has actually forced global food prices to increase by a staggering 75%, in addition to displacing farmers and indigenous peoples from their lands and compromising their health and livelihoods”.
Lauron acknowledges the importance of technological fixes and funding support as short-term solutions. In the long run, the real solution to the climate crisis is a sustainable economic framework, which is the basic demand of grassroots in the South, as reflected in the People’s Protocol on Climate Change, which is a Southern initiative to bring forth to the climate change negotiating table the concerns and demands of peoples who are worst-affected and yet are the least empowered to adapt to climate change.
Lauron concludes, “The G8 climate vision is a distorted view of the whole climate change issue. The masquerade is over. The large and numerous protest actions against the G8 summit from all over the world could only mean that the people will not be fooled into all the greenwashing by the G8 nations. People’s movements are now building their strength towards a climate friendly future based on the principles of people’s sovereignty, social justice, respect for the environment and common but differentiated responsibilities”.
For more information on the People’s Protocol on Climate Change Campaign, please visit http://www.peoplesclimateprotocol.aprnet.org
Contact: Maria Theresa Lauron at firstname.lastname@example.org