April 29, 2010 10:02 ET

WWF to PM: Will Climate be on the G8 Agenda?

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 29, 2010) - Yesterday, the International Development Ministers wrapped up their meetings in Halifax in preparation for the G8 Summit and yet again, there were no discussions on climate change and how countries will meet their financing targets agreed to in the Copenhagen Accord. As the days count down until the G8 Summit, WWF worries that climate may not make the agenda at all.

"There will be no security of any kind if we fail to stabilize the climate," says Keith Stewart, WWF-Canada's Climate Change Director. "These are the first face-to-face meetings Heads of State will have since Copenhagen and are key to moving forward financing decisions to ensure success at the next UN climate conference." 

Last June, Prime Minister Harper stated that the G8 will be a "tremendous opportunity to make progress in three areas: open markets and free trade; freedom, democracy and the rule of law; and insist on truly global action against global warming." Since then, Prime Minister Harper also noted at the World Economic Forum in Davos that climate change would be on the agenda as a secondary item next to security concerns.

Despite these two statements, there has been no discussion of climate change at any of the advance G8 ministerials, spanning finance, development and foreign affairs. In addition, and for only the second time since 1992, there will be no Environment Ministers Meeting held in advance of the G8 Summit. The first time was in 2004 when US President George W. Bush hosted the G8.

The G8 Summit has an important history in facilitating international climate work. In 2009, G8 member states recognized that the world must stay below 2 degrees C of warming to avoid dangerous climate change. This set an imperative for a paralleled commitment at the UN. Last December, countries committed to deliver $30 billion per year from 2010 to 2012 in new and additional "fast start" funding, and $100 billion per year by 2020. Canada is one of the few remaining countries that have not announced their climate financing plan.

"As the current President of the G8, Canada must lead by example by ensuring climate change is on the agenda and announcing their funding commitments", Stewart concluded.

This news release and associated material can be found on wwf.ca

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