Major Economies Forum - a response

Despite the pledge to limit global warming to 2 degrees C, the Major Economies Forum has one arm tied behind its back because rich countries meeting at the G8 this week failed to show leadership by slashing their own emissions first and fastest.

members of civil society movements gathered in Sardinia for an alternative G8 summit

From FoE UK. The The 17-member Major Economies Forum (MEF), is composed of the G8 plus big developing nations.

Major Economies Forum

9 July 2009

Responding to the Major Economies Forum announcement of targets to aim for a ceiling of a two degree C rise in global temperatures, Tom Picken, International Climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

"Despite their pledge to limit global warming to 2 degrees C, the Major Economies Forum has one arm tied behind its back because rich countries meeting at the G8 this week failed to show leadership by slashing their own emissions first and fastest.

"Rich countries bear responsibility for climate change and developing countries are right to demand that they provide new money now to enable them to develop cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change, which is already putting millions of lives at risk.

"The science demands that rich nations cut their emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 at home, not by buying offsets from abroad."

Friends of the Earth is demanding that the Government changes its approach to climate change with its Demand Climate Change campaign. The green campaign group is asking everyone to sign its international petition to world leaders at http://www.demandclimatechange.org/.

You can read the alternative G8 forum summary here .


Notes to Editors:

1. Friends of the Earth is calling for:

* The Government to stop promoting the con of carbon offsetting and pledge to cut emissions by at least 40% by 2020 at home;

* New and sufficient money for developing countries, distributed through the UN, so that they can develop cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change which are already putting millions of lives at risk;

* No inclusion of rainforests in carbon markets, which would allow rich countries to buy up large tracts of land to offset their emissions - triggering a land grab which would leave millions of people worse off.

2. Friends of the Earth is also calling for the UK Government to stop pushing for climate funds to be managed by the World Bank, because as the World Bank is the largest multilateral lender for fossil fuel projects in the world this could create conflicts of interest. The recent financial meltdown has highlighted the need for fully accountable, regulated financial institutions - the management of climate funds would be more democratic and accountable through the UN climate convention.

3. Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. For further information visit http://www.foe.co.uk/

4. Friends of the Earth is part of Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world's poorest communities. The coalition's supporter base of more than 11 million people spans over 100 organisations, from environment and development charities to unions, faith, community and women's groups. Together we demand practical action by the UK to keep temperatures well below an average 2 degree rise. For further information visit http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/