The 33rd G-8 Summit took place in Heiligendamm, Germany from 6 June to 8 June 2007. The Meeting was attended by eight member countries of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States and five guest countries of Brazil, India, Mexico, People’s Republic of China, and South Africa. The Summit discussed a host of issues of international and global significance, fixed goals and set agendas and formulated actions plans to achieve the set goals. Among the major issues discussed in the G-8 summit, one of the most important has been the issue of Climatic change.
Climatic change and global warming have been in the center of environmental movements since formation of United Nations Environment Program at First Climatic conference at Stockholm in 1972 (Paterson, 1996) to look into the issue of climatic change and environmental damage and act as a counseling agency in the matter. With Rio Earth Summit and Kyoto Protocol, the world has realized the dangers of global warming and climatic change putting them in the forefront of international priority issues. However, there is also a deep rooted perception that while climatic change is taking place due to industrially advanced countries, it is the less developed countries that have to suffer most due to it. Therefore the declaration of G8 group, which controls more than 65 percent of world economy and accounts for 75 percent of pollution and greenhouse gases, holds crucial implications for world climatic scenario
G-8 and Climate Change
Responding to the challenges of global warming, excessive consumption and wastage, and climatic change that threatens regional balance in many areas of world and has potential to disrupt lives of millions of people, the 33rd summit of G-8 admitted in its declaration concerning Growth and Responsibility in World Economy of the two key challenges of dangerous climatic change and securing stable supplies of energy being faced by humanity. Identifying climatic change as a long term problem, with potentials for serious damages to the natural environment, global ecological balance and world economy, the declaration called for firm and urgent international effort to meet the challenge and work towards reducing emission of greenhouse gases, ensure safe disposal of hazardous wastes and ensure safe and continued supply of energy.
Evolving strategy to handle climatic change, as the declaration observes, is a joint responsibility of entire world. Any action planned to meet this challenge must be conducted in a way to effectively involve issues of supporting growth and development in industrializing and industrialized nations, without compromising their ability to meet their internal demands. The declaration noted that opportunities of meaningful action in climate change require innovation, technological advancement, strategy formulation and discovering optimum implementation avenues. Climatic change also require substantial degree of policy changes influencing market mechanism, emission trading, green taxes, tax incentives, regulatory and control measures, technological collaboration and vision statement in taking future development and investment decisions with the aim to promote secure energy considerations and sustainable development. The G-8 group, in its declaration expressed strong willingness to take leadership initiative in tackling climatic change and involve the global community in the mission to stabilize, reduce and cut off emission of greenhouse gases.
The declaration put special emphasis on role of energy in the entire issue of climatic change. Energy, the declaration says, is fundamental to the entire structure of world and essential for the existence of world in its present as well as future planned forms. With rising population and growing economies, energy use has increased exponentially across the industrialized as well as developing country. Providing safe and clean energy for sustained development and growth of world economy is a critical dimension in the issue of climatic change as it’s the unsafe use of energy that has precipitated greenhouse gases, global warming and consequently the climatic change. Towards the aim of optimum energy consumption, energy re-utilization and energy conservation the summit called upon the major developing economies such as India, China and Mexico to adopt global energy security policy
Taking note of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change reports the summit acknowledged the problem of rising global temperature due to human activities and its direct relation with climatic change. The rising global temperature threatens security of global bio-diversity, endangers the secure supply of water and may possibly result in large-scale deforestation, melting of polar snowcaps and increased rates of desertification. Such threats, it observed required immediate and wide-scale efforts.
Combating Climatic Change
The declaration presents a blueprint of global response towards climatic change. It aptly notes that the first relevant step towards combating climatic change is reducing and then freezing levels of greenhouse emission. The declaration calls for halving the world greenhouse emission by year 2050 and ensure global participation in this effort. Under the aegis of United Nations and through active collaboration among major developed and emerging countries, the summit declaration hopes to devise and implement national and international majors and policies, targets and objectives, planned respective to each country, and to evolve a climate friendly technology to support the efforts in reducing greenhouse emission.
The summit recognized importance of technology in assisting the efforts towards climatic change and develop supporting market mechanism to create a clean energy based, and less carbon intensive economy that deploys the clean technology to reduce the threats of climatic change. The summit calls for action on
1.Stimulating global model, commercialization, and access to new and emergent technologies
2. Promotion of major developing countries to participate in global technological cooperation and partnership.
3. Enhance national and international research on new climatic technology.
The summit concludes that climatic change is an immediate and pressing issue facing world with a host of detrimental consequences and therefore appropriate response by every country of world
G-8 Summit 2007. 08.06.2007. Accessed online on 27.7.2007.
Growth and Responsibility in the world economy. G-8 Summit 2007. Accessed online on 27.7.2007.
What the G8 must achieve. Accessed online on 27.7.2007.
G8 Summit 2007 Heiligendamm. Accessed online on 27.7.2007