Time-wasting by world leaders ‘risking millions of lives’

By staff writers
July 10, 2009

There was a generally negative response from aid agencies yesterday to the declaration from the Major Economies Forum which met on the sidelines of the G8 summit to discuss progress towards a global climate change deal scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, with the suggestion that the G8’s "dithering" was risking the lives of millions.

The Catholic aid agency Cafod said that the declaration failed to make sufficient progress because the G8 and EU, with the exception of the UK, had not shown the leadership “that is their responsibility to assume.”

CAFOD’s Head of Policy, Joanne Green said: “Agreeing that average global temperatures should not rise above 2 degrees is forward movement but it is woefully inadequate compared to what was needed.

“Until rich countries agree to more ambitious, scientifically-based mid-term and longer-term emissions cuts and to finance and access to technology, developing countries will not come to the negotiating table” she said.

“Poor people feel the effects of climate change first and worst and scientists predict we will reach a tipping point in five to seven years when abrupt and dangerous climate change could affect us all. The G8 and EU’s stance of ‘put off until tomorrow what you could do today’ is madness. They could be risking the lives of millions of the world’s poorest if there is no agreement on climate in December.”

CAFOD did acknowledge however that the UK had "worked hard" for a stronger EU and G8 position.

President Obama has tasked the G20 in September to agree a concrete finance proposal for developing countries.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.