Heiligendamm, Germany, June 7, 2007 - Campaigners warned that today's statement on climate change by leaders of the eight most industrialised nations (or G8) meeting is weak and lacks substance, but reveals the urgent need to tackle climate change.
G8 leaders meeting in Heiligendamm, Germany made some progress under the leadership of German Chancellor Angela Merkel but failed to commit to serious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
All countries except the US and Russia made a non-binding pledge to cut the climate change-causing gases by at least half by 2050. Scientists say that such a cut is necessary to try and keep the increase in global average temperatures below two degrees centigrade from pre-industrial levels.
The eight countries agreed to launch a comprehensive negotiation on climate change under United Nations auspices starting with the UN climate conference in Bali in December 2007 and to end the negotiations by 2009.
Friends of the Earth International Climate Change campaigner Yuri Onodera said: "We have already seen many empty promises by G8 leaders over the past years but there has not been much real action, so we urge G8 leaders to act now and cut their greenhouse gas emissions drastically and immediately."
"The US administration, which continuously obstructed the fight against climate change, did not manage to prevent world leaders here from pledging that they will take multilateral action," he added.
Collectively the G8 nations, which represent just 13 per cent of the world's population, are responsible for around 43 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
G8 nations so far failed to take their historical responsibilities seriously and pay the ecological debt they owe to the people in poorer countries who are suffering from the consequences of the current unsustainable development model.