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Greenpeace: The world’s climate being betrayed by G8 states


Potsdam, Germany — “G8: Stop Talking – Act Now” is the message sent by Greenpeace today to environment ministers meeting in the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, Germany. Activists from the Greenpeace ship “Beluga II” swam to the palace to take a petition to the ministers urging them to use the forthcoming June G8 summit in Germany to agree concrete action to halt climate change.

“Bush and Co. have betrayed the cause of climate protection up to now. We have 13 years at most to avert the worst impacts of climate destruction, and yet there is not even a glimmer of a breakthrough on the horizon at present,” says Greenpeace International Climate & Energy campaigner Stephanie Tunmore. “On the contrary: Global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, up to one quarter coming from the destruction of forests. The G8 states are also reporting rising emissions, although the industrialized nations are in fact committed to curbing emissions by 2012.”

Where greenhouse gas emissions have fallen, this has been largely due to the collapse of economies in the former eastern bloc countries. In almost all countries that did not experience this process, emissions have risen, in some cases dramatically. Canada leads the laggards with 30 percent higher greenhouse gas emissions than in 1990, followed by the United States (15.7 percent up), Italy (12.3 percent up) and Japan (7.7 percent up). Since reaching the Kyoto target in 1998, Tony Blair has made poor progress and in fact CO2 emissions in the UK are climbing.

“This means that the ‘leading industrialized nations’ are miles away from their binding Kyoto targets,” continues Tunmore. “If something does not happen soon, we will be heading straight towards a climate disaster. The G8 Summit in June must deliver the breakthrough.”

In concrete terms, Greenpeace is urging the G8 environment ministers to commit to slashing their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by the year 2020. The Greenpeace Energy [R]evolution report shows that this is achievable by stepping up energy production from wind, solar and biomass. Power from coal and nuclear must be phased out and the destruction of forests must stop. Greenpeace calls upon Germany, the country hosting the meeting, to send a strong signal to the climate crisis summit in Heiligendamm by announcing a 40 percent target in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, with no ifs and buts.


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