Business as Usual

Business as Usual

The G8 on energy and climate: all talk, no action

At the start of this month, the leaders of the G8 (the eight richest industrialised nations) met in Scotland for their annual get together to discuss issues of common interest. The mainstream media focus was on Climate Change and Africa, but behind the scenes Trade, the Global Economy, and Iraq were also on the agenda. In the run up to the summit, the communique on Climate and Energy – especially – was watered down with each successive (leaked) draft, apparently under pressure from the U.S. administration, and the final document – whilst making broad statements about partnerships and cooperation – utterly failed to include any specific targets or timetables for vital at-source emissions reductions. Campaign groups such as Friends of the Earth, and grassroots groups of protesters gathered in Scotland, were quick to condemn the outcome as a farce – all talk and no action.

Outside of Fortress Gleneagles, protests and creative resistance to the G8′s agenda, and the lack of real action on Climate Change flourished around the world during the summit…

In the U.S. several hundred people, including leaders from faith, student and community groups showed their commitment to getting the US to take action by fasting during the three days of the G8 summit, urging President Bush to make a commitment to reduce global warming pollution, and face up to the reality that 94 percent of the U.S. public support limiting greenhouse gas emissions (University of Maryland poll).

In Scotland, activists shut down main roads leading to the summit on the first day, and on the final day of the summit, a call to action on the root causes of climate change saw a mass blockade of the A74 bridge over the river Clyde in Glasgow (a road scheduled for carbon-guzzling expansion) and an afternoon-long street party.

The G8 outcome documents

Specific documents of interest on Climate & Energy:

Climate Change Chapeau
Climate Change Plan of Action
Global Economy & Oil

Finally, there is loads of independent non-commercial coverage of the G8 on Indymedia

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