G8 summit: Half breakthrough in climate protection?

Germanwatch analyzes agreement

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The G8 summit succeeded in opening the door to serious UN climate negotiations. This opinion was presented on June 7, 2007 Germanwatch. One of the reasons: All G8 countries accept the report of the IPCC as a scientific basis.


"We take note of and are concerned about the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. In addition to that, the global temperature is increasing, and this is due to human activities and, in addition, that there are major changes in the global average temperature, there are major changes in the ecosystem structure and function with predominantly negative consequences for biodiversity and ecosystems, eg water and food supply. ", it says in the agreement.

Without naming it, it refers to the two-degree high-risk threshold. According to the IPCC, with a temperature increase of 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius, the mentioned "major changes" are possible. However, it is a weakness of the result that the two-degree limit is not explicitly mentioned, so Germanwatch.

The need for legally binding UN agreements with substantial greenhouse gas reductions, on the other hand, is recognized by all G8 countries. "Taking into account the scientific knowledge as represented in the recent IPCC reports, global greenhouse gas emissions must stop rising, followed by substantial global emission reductions. 2050. "Advertisement. We want to consider seriously the decisions made by the European Union, Canada and Japan which include a halving of global emissions by 2050." Ad

Empty phrases taboo?

As demanded by Germanwatch, the EU states did not allow themselves to be put off with blank phrases like "substantial reductions". Together with Japan and Canada, we succeeded in setting the scale of the necessary reduction as a yardstick. However, a sufficient probability of staying below the two-degree limit is only given if the base year 1990 is used.

It is acknowledged in the agreement that the UN is not only one but the appropriate forum for future negotiations. The attempt by the US government to overturn this process was completely rejected, according to Germanwatch. "We acknowledge that the UN climate process is the appropriate forum for future global action on climate change."

On the way to post-2012 agreement?

The G8 countries agreed to finalize the post-2012 agreement in the UN framework by 2009. According to Germanwatch, this is the strongest part of the final text: "We are committed to moving forward in that forum and call on all parties to actively and constructively participate in the UN Climate Change Conference in Indonesia in December 2007 with a view to achieving a comprehensive post 2012- agreement (post Kyoto agreement) that should include all major emitters. "

The US proposal for a conference with the most emitting states was redefined as a constructive contribution to the UN process. "We are looking for a meeting later this year. This major emitters' process should include, inter alia, national, regional and international policies, targets and plans, in line with national circumstances, an ambitious work program within the UNFCCC, and the development and deployment of climate-friendly technology. This dialogue wants to support the UN climate process and report back to the UNFCCC. "

According to Germanwatch, it was possible to offer the emerging economies an adequate offer of negotiation, which demanded this but not overburdened it: "We stress that further action should be based on the UNFCCC principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and relevant capabilities. We reaffirm, as G8 leaders, our responsibility to act. We accept the following statements: "What do you think?" We recognize, however, that the efforts of developed economies are not sufficient and that new approaches for contributions are needed.

Against this background, we invite notably the emerging economies to address the increase in their emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of their economic development. Gas emissions compared with a business as a whole usual scenario. "

The US has returned to international climate change

Christoph Bals, Political Director of Germanwatch, commented on the G8 agreement: "Our central climate policy benchmark for the G8 summit was the two-degree limit. In fact, the door has been thrown open for a path that keeps the global rise in temperature below this major threat threshold. "

In the opinion of Germanwatch, the G8 summit laid the foundations for a negotiation process that can achieve this goal. Above all, the US and Russia did not have the courage to commit to this goal. In this respect, the process remains exciting. However, the US has now returned to international climate change following its exit from President Bush's term in office. The next few months would show whether the Bush administration is serious about implementing the promise at home and in the UN climate negotiations, Germanwatch said.

(Germanwatch, 08.06.2007 - DLO)