31st May 2007 – Campaigners warned today that the leaders of the eight most industrialised nations (or G8) are not tackling the root causes of poverty and climate change at upcoming G8 talks in Heiligendamm, Germany from 6-8 June.
May 31st 2007 – Campaigners warned today that the leaders of the eight most industrialised nations (or G8) are not tackling the root causes of poverty and climate change at upcoming G8 talks in Heiligendamm, Germany from 6-8 June. 
Friends of the Earth International believes that the G8 acts primarily in the interest of the world’s most powerful nations and their business interests and is thus the wrong body to decide the future of the planet.
Friends of the Earth International Climate Change campaigner Yuri Onodera said:
“Last year, heads of state at the G8 summit in Russia failed to take up the urgency of climate change and went on promoting investments in fossil fuels. With the threat of climate change happening now, G8 nations must commit to the United Nations climate talks that take place later this year. G8 leaders must also recognize their responsibility for transforming their societies to ensure long-term sustainability by investing heavily in energy efficiency and clean, renewable energies.
They should also provide resources for the vulnerable communities whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by climate change.”
The G8 summit is expected to reaffirm previous commitments on renewable energies and energy efficiency. However, such welcome statements are overshadowed by the focus given to investment in unsustainable energy sources such as fossil fuels, biofuels, and nuclear power.
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.
Friends of the Earth International wants G8 heads of state to commit to keeping the increase in global average temperatures below two degrees centigrade from pre-industrial levels and to commit to investing in renewables and energy efficiency. G8 nations must also take their historical responsibilities seriously and pay the ecological debt they owe to the people in poorer countries who are suffering from the consequences of the current unsustainable development model.
Friends of the Earth Trade Campaigner Joe Zacune said:
“Blair and Bush will use the G8 to push for a world trade deal despite all the evidence showing that current proposals would hurt the world’s poorest countries and open up their natural resources to corporate interests. We desperately need to end this anti-democratic, global economic decision-making and develop an alternative approach that ensures developing countries are given policy space to protect their economies and environment. G8 leaders talk the language of sustainable development while promoting the corporate takeover of the global economy and natural resources at the expense of poor communities.”
An increasing body of evidence shows that current proposals at the World Trade Organisation would have a detrimental impact on the poorest developing countries and their environment. 
Furthermore, G8 states are negotiating trade deals outside the WTO that campaigners claim are set to do even more damage to developing country economies and their environment than the current proposals. 
Friends of the Earth International Climate Change campaigner Yuri Onodera +81-909 6834747 (Japanese mobile number)
Friends of the Earth Trade Campaigner Joe Zacune + 44-7967877593 (UK mobile number)
Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) international policy campaigner Antje Von Brooke, Tel: +49 173-6071601 (German mobile number)
Friends of the Earth International media coordinator Niccolo’ Sarno +31-6-51005630 (Dutch mobile number)
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 The official G8 website is http://www.g-8.de
<http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/corporate_conquest.pdf> (PDF) The following studies highlight how the world’s poorest countries would lose out from the current proposals on the table at the WTO:
- Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, “EU Sustainability Impact Assessment of Proposed WTO Negotiations: Final Report”, July 2006
- Food and Agriculture Organisation, “New focus needed for Doha Round: Trade talks failed to address developing country problems”, August 2006
- K. Gallagher, Boston University and T. Wise, Tufts University, “Doha Round and Developing Countries: Will the Doha deal do more harm than good?”, April 2006
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Winners and Losers: Impact of the Doha Round on Developing Countries”, Sandra Polaski, 2006 http://carnegieendowment.org/files/BWfinal.pdf
- <http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/BWfinal.pdf> (PDF)
- A study by the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) from March 2006 concluded that the World Bank’s strategies on trade have not delivered on employment and poverty reduction
- Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, “Sustainability Impact Assessment of Proposed WTO Negotiations: Final Report for the Forest Sector Study”, June 2005
 Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are free trade deals that are currently being negotiated outside the WTO between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. For more information on EPAs see the Friends of the Earth report, “Corporate Conquest: Why the UK and its EU Partners must stop forcing Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) upon developing countries”