G8’s Climate Failure, Promising to Talk Further in Bali

While trumpeting yet more rhetoric on climate change absent action goals and timetables as a victory, the G8 leaders have failed to reach agreement on immediate emission targets to keep global mean temperature rise below 2 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels. The failed to gain concensus on a mandatory 50 percent reduction in global emissions. The US and Russia remained isolated in their refusal to accept binding emission cuts; as Europe and Japan embraced goals of cutting greenhouse gases by 50% by 2050. The Bush administration has evaded mandatory emission cuts saying they will “seriously consider” setting reduction targets with the rest of the world at a later date. About the only immediate good news of any substance to come out of the G8 climate change meetings is a pledge for talks on a Kyoto successor. There appears at least rhetorically to be a renewed political mandate to start negotiating a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol during climate meetings in Bali in December. This is something that EcoInternet's network campaigned for in recent weeks, as 2709 people sent 637,868 protest emails to UNFCCC government focal points. I would very much love to be proven wrong, but Bush's recent pronouncements do not make him a friend of global climate. When climate science indicates 80-90% cuts in carbon dioxide and other GHG are required by 2050 to avert abrupt climate disaster, it is terrible that Bush's reengagement in international climate policy making seems limited to floating proposals to delay and further obstruct active measures with goals and timetables. World leaders are failing their citizens, countries and Earth by constantly dragging their feet on getting going with mandatory emission reduction targets.

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7 Responses

  1. jack says:

    Peak oil,gas,and coal will ensure emission cuts.
    RESPONSE: Peak oil and gas perhpas, but we are some time from peak coal and if all the coal that exists and is accessible is burned the atmosphere is toast.

  2. The G8 summit leaders has taken a decision to cut greenhouse gas emission to 50 % by 2050…I want some expert to explain if its actually possible. The needs of people is every increasing and in manufacturing sector we can only expect more production as the demand increases. I wonder if its even possible to maintian same level of emission . Scientifically are there ways to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions and will the industries be compelled to follow such technologies.
    Venkat raman

  3. Tibor Kiss says:

    "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best is now." Chinese proverb.

  4. PeterW says:

    Venkat raman,
    For a start, you should read George Monbiot's book Heat. There are numerous ways to cut greenhouse gases. The problem is there are numerous vested interests that don't want to change their ways.
    Unfortunately too many people have no respect for future generations or life on this planet. We are one sad species.

  5. ewoc says:

    The US Congress is about to vote on legislation to offer massive ($57 billion) federal tax and other direct subsidies to industry for “synfuel,” turning coal into liquid fuels for transport and other uses (like the Nazis did to fuel their war machine during WW2). In almost all likely scenarios, synfuel production and use will lead to massive increases in US CO2 emissions. The Chinese have already begun building such plants. The coal industry and (unfortunately) some labor unions are supporting this move towards policy madness. And of course we do not actually know when “peak oil,” or the halfway point in terms of recoverable oil reserves, will be reached. So relying on peak oil to cut emissions is wildly unrealistic, really more like wishful thinking than a policy choice that reflects careful consideration of our fossil fuel addicted civilization's propensities.
    As to the question of whether we actually can cut emissions, see the study by Sokolow et al of Princeton U. several years ago. They concluded that stiff emissions cuts on the order of 50% or more by 2050 were well within the range of current technologies, if we have the political will to undertake a serious effort. While many (including this reader) would argue that this target probably isn't aggressive enough, given what we know now, it would be a significant start on the right road.

  6. dani says:

    I would like to invite you to a new site called 99actions
    It's a community to share actions against global warming.
    Please feel free to test it and send comments to info@99actions.org
    regards from Barcelona!

  7. I know… why dont we keep felling virgin rainforest in western nations like Austrialia and canada? Let alone developing nations!?!
    For a uk take on N.V.D.A. at home and abroad tackling rain forest destruction and general anti capitalism visit our myspace… pics and vids, and links to loads of Tasmanian sites and youtube vids of cool climbing footage in THE TALLEST HARDWOOD ON THE PLANET!!! See it B4 it's too late… http://www.myspace.com/noalternativecollective
    write a letter, contribute to the NVDA, or get out there and help… It's time FOR ACTION!!!

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