G8 climate goal: Leaders came back to earth. But what now? | WWF-Canada

G8 climate goal: Leaders came back to earth. But what now?

Posted on 08 July 2009
WWF welcomes the leaders’ initiative but the lack of an agreement on ambitious midterm emissions reduction targets, clear financial commitments and a date for global peak and decline of emissions  could turn the 2 degree commitment into an empty statement.

World leaders have come down to earth. We welcome them back here but why have they failed to tell us how they want to achieve what they promise,,” said Kim Carstensen, the leader of the WWF Global Climate Initiative.

“What are they going to do between now and 2020?”  “If they don’t outline a path to reach the announced goal, the 2 degree statement will just join a long list of broken promises.”

The G8 commitment to reduce their emissions by 80 per cent or more by 2050 is welcome news, but it does not compensate for the lack of clear and ambitious short-term targets.

An ambitious midterm target for 2020 of developed countries is needed to ensure immediate action. Without setting the path to reduce emissions, the actual obligations of countries will be watered down, and staying below 2 degrees will be impossible.

So far the emission reduction pledges by individual industrialised countries do not add up to the level of action needed by 2020. The G8 has failed to use the opportunity to close that gap.

“It still seems as if the glaciers were moving quicker than the leaders,” Carstensen said.
“We need to know how much the leaders will reduce their emissions between now and 2020. Without it seems as if they just paid a friendly visit without any results.”

WWF believes the group of industrialised countries should cut emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. The US should take a comparable target, in nature, legal form and effort.

The global conservation organisation also asks developed countries to put forward a financial commitment of 160 billion USD a year for emission cuts and adaptation to climate impacts in the developing world.

WWF climate change experts in L’Aquila:
Kim Carstensen, Leader WWF Global Climate Initiative, +45-40-34-36-35, k.carstensen@wwf.dk; Ms Kathrin Gutmann, WWF International Climate Policy Coordinator, +49-162-29144-28, kathrin.gutmann@wwf.de ;
Mariagrazia Midulla, Head of Climate Change and Energy Programme, WWF Italy, Email: m.midulla@wwf.it, +39 329 8316415
Press contacts:
Natalia Reiter, (English, French), nreiter@wwfint.org , Cell: +41 79873 8099