Climate Change and Africa High on G-8 Agenda
6 July 2004 - As Leaders of the world's eight most industrialised nations start their meetings in Scotland, the twin issues of Climate Change and Africa, where the MDGs are proving hardest to achieve, remain the centre piece of the G-8 summit this year.
In an editorial published last February on the occasion of Kyoto’s entering into force, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer called for a new effort to move beyond the targets and time-tables agreed under the Kyoto Protocol towards the even deeper cuts in greenhouse gases necessary to stabilize the world’s climate.
He emphasized that the new science on climate change should give courage to those leaders who may be wavering on tackling the economic and other reforms needed for a low carbon world.
Scientific reports have concluded that global temperatures may rise by as much as 5.8 degrees C by 2100 without action. While the International Climate Change Task Force, which is an alliance of three think-tanks based in America, Australia and the United Kingdom, argue that even a two degree Centigrade rise could take the planet past a point of ‘no return’.
Scientific reports on Climate Change can make terrifying reading, a vision of a planet spinning out of control.
The British Prime Minister Tony Blair, would like to see a G8 deal on climate change with three fundamental components: First, Science as a compelling cornerstone of any dialogue on Climate Change. Second – concrete, timetabled moves towards cutting emissions. And third - recognition of the urgent need for immediate action.
G-8 leaders are at the helm and, beyond world politics, their decisions this week might help stabilize the world’s climate.