The Gea Org.

Bush remains out in the cold on climate change at the G8 summit

By Greenpeace International

Edited by Federico Ferrero

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Gleneagles, UK, 8 July 2005

The Group of Eight communiqué issued by world leaders at their summit in Gleneagles today highlights the divisions between President Bush and the rest of the world on tackling climate change.

The communiqué includes a statement affirming that the countries that have already ratified Kyoto would work to make it a success. The US is not a Party to the Kyoto Protocol. The conference also saw a strong statement from significant developing countries (the G5 - Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) supporting Kyoto and stating that a real commitment to share sustainable energy technology with developing countries is essential.

"Twelve of the countries attending this summit have emphasized the need for tough targets to reduce CO2 emissions but Bush remains isolated and alone in his refusal to act," said Greenpeace International climate campaigner, Stephanie Tunmore.

"There are still opportunities for real progress, the next being through the UK presidency of the European Union at the first Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol in November in Montreal. The seven other G8 leaders need to strengthen the international position on the urgency of climate change and need to implement strict targets.

The failure of the G8 to speed up measures to tackle climate change will undermine development in Africa. G8 nations have failed to 'join-the-dots' between climate change and Africa and the poorest in Africa will pay the price," says Tunmore.

Africa lives on the front line of global warming. Seventy per cent of Africans rely on mostly rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods. Climate change is already disrupting these vital rains - bringing more droughts, floods and hunger.

Greenpeace criticised that the otherwise welcome debt cancellation and increases in aid announced at Gleneagles are linked to failed free trade policies. Greenpeace called on governments not to rush into any further trade liberalization deals at the World Trade Organization, but to use the United Nations Millennium Review Summit in September to launch a complete social and environmental review of the global trade regime.

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