Climate must be part of G8 economic talks

OTTAWA - This week,
G8 leaders will meet in France to discuss global issues, with stabilizing the
global economy at the top of the agenda.  “Discussions on the economy can no
longer ignore the threat of climate change,” said Canadian Green Leader and new
Member of Parliament Elizabeth May.  “With tornadoes, wildfires, droughts and
floods devastating communities across the globe and causing a sharp rise in food
prices, leaders of the industrialized nations of the G8 must put priority on
reviving climate change negotiations,” said May.

The next
global climate negotiations will take place in Durban, South Africa, this
December.  The G8 is comprised of the United States, Japan, Germany, France,
Britain, Italy, Russia and Canada.  Of all of these countries, Canada has the
highest greenhouse gas emission growth of 24.1% from 1990 to 2008.  Under the
Kyoto Protocol, Canada must reduce emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by

“Meetings of
the G8 have historically recognized the importance of dealing with climate
change as a threat to civilization—with the exception of last year.  Canada
continues to be the odd man out; all of the other G8 countries are taking steps
and implementing policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions while we continue to
deny and delay,” said May.  “Our poor record is

Host country
France’s Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has been a long-time advocate of putting
a price on carbon and France is part of the European Union’s emissions trading
scheme, which continues to expand.

Sarkozy is
also putting a priority on developing global security standards around nuclear
power in the wake of the meltdown in Japan this year.  “We need to take a hard
look at nuclear power and realize that it is not worth the incredible risks to
people and to ecosystems,” said May. “Instead we must now pull together on a
global scale real investment in alternative energy sources.  We can do it and we
can do it in time, but we must have the global political will on

The last G8
summit, hosted in Canada and still being investigated for cost overruns,
promised greater accountability for promises made by the wealthy nations.  In
the spotlight for this year’s summit is the promise to provide an initial $5
billion for maternal and child health, particularly in Africa.  “Since the 2010
G8 summit, we have been pleased to see increased funding to address the need for
maternal and child healthcare in developing countries,” said May. “We must now
continue to follow the World Health Assembly’s recommendations until we achieve
the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by
three quarters by 2015. Accountability mechanisms are also needed to ensure the
funding is spent wisely and reaches those who need it

The G8
countries, with 15% of the world's population, account for 65% of the world's
gross domestic product.



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