Plans to tackle climate change “going backwards”

Friends of the Earth International
Media Advisory
Thursday 16 June 2005

Edinburgh ( Scotland )– Friends of the Earth International today reacted with anger at the content of a fresh leak of the draft communique on climate change for next month’s Scotland G8 Summit.
Proposals to fund research were deleted from the draft communique which now worryingly even calls into question scientists’ warnings that global climate change is already underway.
The document entitled ‘Gleneagles Plan of Action’, dated 14 June, has been watered down from a previous draft which itself had no specific targets or timetables for action. The latest draft also backs the use of so-called “zero-carbon” nuclear power.
Friends of the Earth International’s climate campaigner Catherine Pearce said:
“This draft shows no progress is being made on taking action to tackle climate change – despite the high profile efforts of the UK Prime Minister. Indeed negotiations seem to be going backwards. If the leaders of the world’s richest nations cannot agree to tackle the greatest threat facing the planet, what kind of leadership are they showing to the rest of the world?”.
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Chief Executive Duncan McLaren, said:
“Any suggestion that G8’s visit to Scotland would produce anything meaningful on tackling climate change is rapidly evaporating. The first draft of this document was bad, this update is even worse. G8 countries represent just 13 per cent of the world’s population, but account for 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. A climate plan of action, by the world’s richest nations that does not include targets, timetables and extra funding is of no use to future climate victims.”
Friends of the Earth’s demands for the G8 include:
Agreement on the compelling scientific evidence showing that climate change is already happening and that urgent action is now required to substantially reduce emissions.
An agreement by G8 nations for specific, substantial and timetabled cuts in their domestic emissions of greenhouse gases.. Nations must take radical action at home in order to reduce the impacts of climate change, including a change in consumption patterns and a meaningful switch to the use of renewable sustainable energy sources.
G8 nations must stop promoting fossil fuel extraction in developing nations through international financial institutions such as the World Bank and export credit agencies.
G8 governments should immediately phase-in public finance for sustainable clean energy.

For more information contact:
Catherine Pearce + 44 (0) 20 7566 1723 + 44 (0) 7811 283641
or Lang Banks +44 0131 554 9977 or (pager) +44 (0)7654 200937