During last week’s G8 Summit held in Heiligendamm, a the luxurious German resort town, the leaders of the 8 richest countries in the world got together to schmooze and talk about some pretty serious global issues – “The framework conditions for the global economy, involving the largest emerging economies in the system of global responsibility, climate protection issues and African development will be key focuses of this year’s G8 Summit in Heiligendamm.” Judging from the pictures from the event, everyone was getting along and having a great time. But did they actually accomplish anything? Since this is green.mnp, we’ll just focus on the “climate protection issues” at the moment. All 8 of the countries’ leaders agreed to hold UN talks on climate change later this year, which is a promising step toward making real goals. However, predictably, the US was the only country to refuse a fixed emissions reduction target.
Avaaz.org, a global action web community that puts together campaigns on “major global issues like poverty, climate change, human rights and global security”, organized a petition to bring to the G8 Summit. Here is a blog entry on the results of the petition, their experience at the Summit, and the future of the global climate issue:
Let’s become unstoppable
365,000 of us stood together at the G8 summit to save our planet. 200,000 of us added our voices to the global chorus in the last 10 days alone.
Gazing out on the Baltic, amazed, tired and humbled, taking a deep breath. You’re here too.
Overhead, the police helicopters still circle. Down on the beach, the media are getting massages. Beyond the fence, clowns and water cannons. It’s a circus, but the power is only too real.
We can’t stop now. The coming weeks and months are crucial. In the summit chambers, the G8+5 polluters have agreed on the global climate talks we demanded – but the kind of deal is still up for grabs. Will it be enough, fast enough?
Just in the last few days, Europe, Japan and Canada started to converge on a global goal of 50% or greater emissions cuts by 2050. In the end the US was the only G7 dissenter, Russia standing on the sidelines. So the summit’s tortured language speaks of “substantial emissions cuts” and goals without numbers. But the process we demanded – UN talks in Bali this December – looks strengthened.
President Bush only conceded global warming might be real in January. But this week his government felt compelled to shift, even if it’s trying wrecking tactics too.
That sabotage can’t succeed if we the people stand up for the right path, all around the globe. Bush is increasingly isolated even in his own country – the American public and the US Congress are coming behind bold action on climate change.
And he’s isolated in the world – he can’t rely on other big polluters like China and Brazil, now moving faster than expected toward the climate savers’ camp. The “plus 5″ big developing countries said they wanted a stronger statement from the G8. A big international poll just showed 65% of Chinese people and 62% of Indians support requiring their governments to act as well.
It’s more than watch this space. Let’s fill this space. To stop climate catastrophe, we need a massive global effort from every corner of the world over the coming weeks, months and years.
Let’s become unstoppable. We won’t stop now – let’s grow our petition even further before December’s summit.
365,000 and counting…
Next climate stop: Live Earth. 7th July, 2007.