Big guns rolled out for NGO assault on G8

With the G8 summit about to begin pressure groups and aid agencies are lobbying hard, trying to get their voices heard to convince world leaders that climate change and global poverty should be urgent priorities.

Campaigners from People & Planet and Friends of the Earth will be dressing as beach-goers and mermaids, carrying cut-out waves and seaweed to
protest at Grangemouth oil refinery calling for the Group of Eight to put the needs of people before the demands of the oil industry.

Garry Glass of Edinburgh University People & Planet said: “We are taking action to tackle climate change at its very source.

“We realise that people’s livelihoods depend on the industry in Grangemouth and that is why we would like to put pressure on the oil industry to start a
just transition to secure more sustainable jobs for the community before oil
depletion and climate change become critical.”

Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland said:
“Rising sea levels, extreme weather and shortages of food and water will
affect millions of poor people before this century ends.

“The G8 must put the needs of the poor and of future generations before the interests of the fossil fuel industry.

“Together the G8 leaders must sign up to real action to prevent climate chaos and deliver climate justice.

“We need action to help not the oil industry and multinational companies, but those in the world’s poorer countries, who are least responsible for climate change but who suffer most from its impacts.”

Meanwhile Greenpeace will be plugging a report it has produced in partnership with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) outlining a plan to supply 12% of the world’s electricity needs using wind power by 2030, slashing CO2 emissions by billions of tons.

“Wind energy has a huge role to play in our energy future and in combating climate change,” said Sven Teske of Greenpeace International.

“It is already one of the fastest growing energy sectors in the world.

“G8 nations must encourage and support wind power developments worldwide to ensure that we can curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

The GWEC’s Corin Millais said: “Wind power is one of the few energy supply technologies that is ready for a broader roll out today; wind has the maturity, clout and global muscle to deliver deep cuts in CO2, while providing a hedge against fluctuating fossil fuel prices and reduce energy import dependence.

“The global energy challenge of our time is not only to tackle climate change, but to meet the rising demand for energy and to safeguard security of energy supplies.

“As a power technology which can meet these three challenges, wind energy is a leading candidate.”

The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), will be draping landmarks with over-sized versions of its trademark Make Poverty History white bands to highlight its campaign.

St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate will be among those taking part.

GCAP Chair Kumi Naidoo said that G8 leaders could not ignore the worldwide call for action when they meet in Gleneagles saying: “Turning a blind eye to the plight of the world’s poorest is an approach that the G8 has routinely taken.

“This time around, people in rich and poor countries are standing up to say that they will not accept inaction, indifference and timidity – it’s crime against humanity.”

By Sam Bond

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