G8 duck responsibility and fail to lead - WWF | WWF

G8 duck responsibility and fail to lead - WWF

Posted on
08 July 2008
Toyako, Japan: G8 leaders have failed to boost international climate negotiations at their Toyako summit. WWF criticizes the lack of a commitment to mid term targets and judges the goal to reduce global emissions by at least 50% by 2050 to be insufficient. WWF urges the G8 to wake up to the threat of dangerous climate change and raise the level of ambition drastically.

“Confirming the results of last year’s summit in Heiligendamm is hardly a remarkable outcome”, said Kim Carstensen, Director WWF Global Climate Initiative. “So little progress after a whole year of Ministerial meetings and negotiations is not only a wasted opportunity, it falls dangerously short of what is needed to protect people and nature from climate change.”

The global conservation organization reminded G8 leaders that the science clearly outlines an urgent need to cut global emissions way more than 50% by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. To get there, global emissions have to peak and decline in 10 to 15 years and rich nations must reduce emissions by 25 to 40% by 2020. These crucially important necessities are not reflected in the G8 communiqué.

“The G8 are responsible for 62% of the carbon dioxide accumulated in the Earth’s atmosphere, which makes them the main culprit of climate change and the biggest part of the problem”, added Carstensen. “WWF finds it pathetic that they still duck their historic responsibility and refuse to turn from the main driver of the problem into the main driver of the solution.”

WWF said the summit confirmed a recent trend that industrialized countries show less rather than more of the leadership so urgently needed. Toyako saw countries like Canada, Japan and the US emphasizing their inability to move, while emerging economies have recently made concrete policy proposals, offering more domestic action in turn for decisive leadership by industrialized nations.

The Japanese G8 Presidency was a disappointing example of huge discrepancies between raising high hopes and delivering little. To get over the bitter aftertaste, WWF urged the Japanese government to set a domestic emission reduction target in the range of 25 to 40 per cent by 2020 and to implement an emission trading scheme to get growing emissions under control.

“Prime Minister Fukuda made a huge effort and ended up with a mediocre result, which is the opposite of effective leadership and cannot be counted as success”, said Naoyuki Yamagishi, Head of the Climate Programme at WWF Japan. “Rapid improvements at the domestic policy front are his only chance to restore trust in his ability to protect Japan from dangerous climate change.”

Press contacts: Mr Christian Teriete (in Hokkaido), WWF International Communications Manager Asia Pacific, +852-9310-6805, cteriete@wwf.org.hk; Mr Martin Hiller (in Switzerland), Communications Manager WWF Global Climate Initiative, +41-22-364-9226, mhiller@wwfint.org

Spokespeople in Hokkaido: Mr Kim Carstensen, Director WWF Global Climate Initiative, +45-40-34-36-35, k.carstensen@wwf.dk; Ms Kathrin Gutmann, WWF International Climate Policy Coordinator, +49-162-29144-28, kathrin.gutmann@wwf.de; Mr Naoyuki Yamagishi, Head of WWF Japan Climate Programme, +81-90-6471-1432, yamagishi@wwf.or.jp; Ms Masako Konishi, Senior Climate Policy Adviser WWF Japan, +81-80-3024-2536, konishi@wwf.or.jp

Materials for free download at: www.panda.org/climate
- WWF G8 Scorecards report, a ranking of the climate performance of G8 countries
- Report Nippon Changes on climate impacts affecting Japan today and tomorrow
- Dangerous Change brochure on climate impacts on and Climate Witnesses from Japan
- WWF International G8 Position Paper

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