Without clear and adequate targets to stop climate change from G8 leaders and the major developing countries, efforts to tackle poverty pusued by the UK and others in Africa will be put at risk, says Christian Aid - the ecumenical churches' development and advocacy agency.
"Africa is on the frontline of climate change and many of its poorest people are already suffering increasingly volatile climatic conditions," explained Andrew Pendleton, Christian Aid’s climate policy analyst who is in the Kühlungsborn press centre at the G8 summit.
He continued: "Existing initiatives to tackle HIV and improve education and healthcare in poor communities, in which the G8 has played a Jekyll and Hyde role in recent years, are at risk of being swept away if climate change is not tackled."
"If the leaders assembled in Heiligendamm – both G8 countries and those from India and China – cannot agree to cut global emissions then who can?" declared Mr Pendleton.
"We are hoping they agree to Chancellor Merkel’s proposal of a clear signal on staying below 2°C of global warming at this summit and a mandate for negotiations on numeric cuts in emissions at the UN", he added.
Christian Aid believes it is crucial that the G8 agrees to take action that would limit global warming to 2°C and to ensure that business is forced to pay the real cost of emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) through pricing pollution.
But any global deal on climate change must also guarantee poorer countries’ right to develop, especially if big developing countries such as India and China are to brought on board in the deal.