G8 summit agenda incites anger from green groups

This week's G8 summit will not involve discussions on climate change but will focus on the economy with talks on trade, tax compliance and transparency.

Green groups have expressed their anger at the absence of climate change as a topic of discussion during this week’s meetings in Northern Ireland.

Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the US arrived in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland to achieve change on the three issues which are “critical for growth, prosperity and economic development across the world”.

Greenpeace pointed out that climate change discussions have often been a priority at many G8 summits. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, for example, climate was a key issue “these countries fought over”.

In a blog on the green campaigners website, this year it reportedly took heavy lobbying from Germany and France for Cameron to agree to talk about climate change at all.

“With such bad preparation and lack of political capital being invested in getting the G8 to send a leadership signal on climate, it’s hard to see how the summit can produce anything but meaningless platitudes,” it continues.

Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said: “G8 policies are not only failing to tackle major international crises like climate change, world hunger and the trashing of our natural resources; they often make them worse”.

Atkins also said that the proposals at this year’s summit would accelerate corporate control of the world’s food system and do little to end the planet’s fossil fuel addiction.

“The world’s richest nations must stop pursuing economic growth at any cost and build economies that allow us all to live sustainably and equitably within the planet’s limited resources,” he added.

Leigh Stringer

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