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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2006 / 1003

1003

media advisory
3 october 2006

Friends of the Earth International

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY: NEW ROUND OF G8 TALKS IN MEXICO

3 October 2006 - Governments are failing to take the action needed to reach legally binding targets agreed under the Kyoto treaty on climate change, Friends of the Earth International warned ahead of a key meeting of Ministers from 20 of the biggest energy-consuming nations in Monterrey, Mexico.

The October 3-4 gathering is the second of the 'Gleneagles Dialogue on Clean Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development' which was born at the 2005 summit of the group of eight (G-8) richest nations, and sets the stage for crucial United Nations talks on international action to tackle climate change scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya on November 6-17, 2006.

As well as mitigation measures, sustainable development and adaptation needs are also due to be discussed.

Friends of the Earth International is disappointed that despite requests, civil society participation and contribution is not allowed at the meeting.

According to Friends of the Earth International, existing emission targets under the Kyoto treaty are insufficient to avoid dangerous climate change, with far deeper cuts required. But despite dramatic scientific warnings and substantial evidence that climate change is happening faster than previously predicted, global emissions are still on the rise. [1]

Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International climate campaigner said: "Last year heads of state at the G8 summit in Gleneagles recognised the urgent need for decisive action against climate change whilst 'eradicating energy poverty' around the world. But they are still focused on their dependence of fossil fuels. To adequately address climate change this Dialogue must help to build the conditions for the solutions to flourish.

A fundamental transformation of our energy use is required. The richest countries in this room could begin the challenge with reversing investment away from fossil fuels and into renewables and energy efficiency echnologies. This would also help to build well needed momentum into the formal UN climate negotiations. "[2]

In particular, G8 leaders must commit themselves to strong future actions to combat climate change. These should include increased efforts to meet Kyoto targets, and a clear signal that their commitments will increase after 2012 (when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is due to end). Collectively the G8 nations, which represent just 13 per cent of the world's population, are responsible for 45 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Many external inputs will be received during the meeting, including the International Energy Agency, a presentation from Sir Nick Stern on his findings so far on the economics of climate change, and contributions from the World Bank on their Clean Energy Investment Framework which feeds directly into the Dialogue. [5]

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International climate campaigner or Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth Costa Rica, Tel: + 44 7811 283 641 (UK mobile)

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] Recent scientific reports suggest that in order to achieve the maximum 2°C temperature rise target with reasonable certainty, concentration levels must peak below 500 ppm and then return below 400ppm, which would require global CO2 cuts of 50% by 2050. Industrialised countries would have to cut their CO2 emissions by 80% at least. In contrast, a concentration of 550ppm, a figure that has been used as a rule-of-thumb in the past, has a 68% to 99% chance of exceeding the 2°C threshold. See: Malte Meinshausen, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich: "On the Risk to Overshoot 2°C"; http://www.up.umnw.ethz.ch/~mmalte/simcap/data.html

[2] A July 13, 2006 BBC poll found widespread support for alternative energy strategies and extensive fear that the climate and environment are being harmed. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/5170152.stm

[3] The Gleneagles Dialogue includes 20 countries (G8+5 together with Indonesia, Australia, Spain, Poland, Nigeria, South Korea), the European Commission and key international organisations including the World Bank and the International Energy Agency. The UNFCCC Secretariat participates.

[4] The Dialogue will report back to G8 Heads of Government during Japan's G8 Presidency in 2008.

[5] Friends of the Earth International has written a response to the Bank's Clean Energy Investment Framework with 9 other organizations. This is available at http://www.foe.org/camps/intl/EnergyReportDraft091406.pdf

 

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