Oxfam tells G8 to follow UK lead on climate change

by Stephen Hurrell. Published Wed 15 Jul 2009 12:11, Last updated: 2009-07-15
International charities say time is running out for G8

Leading international charities have slammed G8 leaders for their lack of urgency.

Global leaders pledged to stop global temperatures rising by more than two
degrees and to cut their emissions by 80 percent by 2050 in a G8 summit at L’Aquila,
Italy, last week. But the long-term plan has attracted fierce criticism from
Oxfam International, which today claimed urgent action is needed.

Oxfam spokesperson Antonio Hill said: “The G8 might have agreed to avoid
cooking the planet by more than two degrees, but they made no attempt to
turn down the heat any time soon.

“It is disappointing that G8 leaders are ignoring what they must do now to
limit warming to below two degrees. This limit commits the G8 to following the
science, which is good. But 2050 is too far off to matter – poor people are
being hit today.

“We must see emissions cuts of at least 40 percent by 2020, and G8 money to help the
poorest countries cope with climate chaos.”

Hill warned G8 leaders that the lack of investment could jeopardise
any deal being struck at the crucial Copenhagen Climate Conference in December. He
stated: “Unless the G8 come up with at least $150 billion to help poor
countries adapt to the killer effects of climate change and to stop things
getting any worse, there will be no deal in Copenhagen.”

He pointed to the UK as an example for other G8 nations, adding: “Brown has led the way by recognising the scale of what is needed and the rest of the G8 must follow his lead.”

Several charities have already voiced their concerns over lack of investment
from the G8 countries. Tearfund, a Christian Aid Charity, expressed its
disappointment that the G8 failed to set “an ambitious goal” for reducing
emissions by 2020.

Paul Cook, Tearfund Advocacy Director, said: “What part of the word urgency
do G8 leaders not understand? Adequate finance is the sticking point
currently deadlocking negotiations and so far the group members have failed to put
their money where their mouths are.”

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