May 27, 2011 12:34 ET

G8 Myopia: G8 Leaders Must Look Ahead for New Solutions Towards a 21st Century Green Economy and Not Backward Towards 20th Century Mistakes

DEAUVILLE, FRANCE--(Marketwire - May 27, 2011) - During the G8 summit, the French Presidency is clearly trying to revive an old-style decision-making process. In its final declaration, the G8 adopted common positions related to energy, climate change and green growth. However, it keeps reaffirming previous political declarations without taking new commitments.

The G8 position on green growth is far from being enough. No specific information is given on the new indicators proposed and fossil fuel subsidies reform was not mentioned. Regarding nuclear energy, President Sarkozy highlighted that for most of the G8 governments, there was no alternative to nuclear power. This Summit should have been the opportunity for the world leaders to invest in energy efficiency and energy savings.

G8 countries are struggling to put together the money needed to build the new cover over the Chernobyl ruins, costing no less than €740 million, trying to cover the mistake from the past rather than investing in new energy options.

The "old club" of the G8 countries, which represented more than 50 per cent of the world GDP in the 20th century, now falling to less than 15 per cent of the world GDP, seems to stick a myopic vision of our energy future.

The G8 raises expectations on climate change by making progress towards a new binding agreement to be further discussed at the UNFCCC summit in Durban. However, the G8 also avoided the real debate about innovative sources of finance for climate, development and biodiversity.

For Elise Buckle, WWF International policy advisor and G8 G20 coordinator, "the G8 needs to shake off the dust covering its old vestige and look into future energy options. The G8 summit missed an opportunity to make the necessary commitments to invest in energy efficiency, energy saving and renewable energy to set up the right fiscal incentives for the green economy. The news indicators proposed also need to take into account the limited capacity of the planet to absorb pollution and to provide natural resources."

For Hawa Sow, WWF Senior Policy advisor for Africa, "we welcome the G8 – Africa partnership which is progressive and we call for stronger political will to concretize and operationalize commitments reaffirmed therein, in particular for energy, food and water access."

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