No targets or timetable for climate change action at G8 summit

A leaked draft document on global warming prepared for the G8 summit in Gleneagles has been condemned by environmentalists after it was found to contain no targets and no timetable for action.

The document, Draft G8 Text on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy, appears to confirm fears that the G8 summit will be little more than a talking shop for world problems and not actually commit leaders to taking any action on global matters.

Downing St has said the document is only work in progress and would be improved. Friends of the Earth, however, immediately slated it.

“President Bush is continuing to block attempts by Tony Blair for any meaningful international action on climate change. As a result, this document appears to be more about saving face than saving the planet,” Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International’s climate change campaigner said.

The group’s main criticisms of the draft document are that it contains no specific targets or timetables meaning any useful action is unlikely; that there is no recognition of the major impact that G8 nations have had, and continue to have, on climate change; and that there is no mention of the importance of implementing the Kyoto Protocol or the need for international action to curb emissions after 2012 when the first period under Kyoto ends.

Greenpeace also condemned the draft document.

Although the document sets no goals it does recognise the reality of climate change and promises to set up a commission to study the effects of aviation and to develop a market for sustainable energy in developing countries.

However, exactly when this would happen is unclear.

“G8 countries represent just 13% of the world’s population, but account for 45% of greenhouse gas emissions,” Catherine Pearce added. “The time has come for bold policies and global leadership. Unless they take a lead on this issue, the impacts of climate change will be felt for generations to come.”

By David Hopkins

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