G8 falls short on climate change


Gabriel Murwa and his wife with their last remaining cow from a herd of 100. The others have all died. [Richard Wainwright]

CAFOD is disappointed that the G8 Summit in Japan has not gone far enough on cutting the necessary carbon emissions to stem global warming

CAFOD says plans announced by G8 leaders to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050 falls short of what is needed to save the planet.

The new pledge by the world leaders strengthens last year’s G8 pledge to “seriously consider” the cuts – but still does not go far enough.

Mid-term goals

The G8 said mid-term goals would be needed to hit the shared target, but that it would be up to individual countries to adopt them.

Liz Gallagher, CAFOD’s climate change policy researcher says: “The G8 has a record of stalling on the delivery of their pledges. However, on this occasion, the pledge itself simply isn’t good enough.

“Even if world leaders do deliver on this latest promise, many people around the world – but especially the poorest – will still suffer from our inability to take urgent action on climate change.”

Caritas Internationalis, a network of which CAFOD is a member, has also spoken out against the plans.

Its representative Joseph Donnelly says: “They’re playing with the future of our planet in a decision that will affect generations to come long after this G8 is forgotten.

“If this is the base starting point of negotiations then we’re in business. If it is the hoped for goal then it represents a huge failure in leadership.”

Meanwhile, five big emerging economies called on the G8 to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Mexico, Brazil, China, India and South Africa also urged all developed countries to commit themselves to absolute emission reductions based on a medium-term target of a 25-40% cut below 1990 levels by 2020.

The five set out their position in a statement prior to joining the G8 for discussions on climate change on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

CAFOD is currently campaigning on the Climate Change Bill in the UK, and asking MPs to vote for changes to it to help prevent dangerous climate change.

Action on behalf of justice is a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the gospel.
Justice in the World – 1971 Synod of Bishops