Calls for Clearer ‘Green’ Commitments at the G20 Summit
Experts are strongly urging G20 members to insert clear green commitments when they meet in London this week to come up with solutions to the global economic downturn. UN climate negotiators have warned that the G20 summit will not succeed in devising a plan to save the global economy, unless there is a plan in place to save the planet first.
Gordon Brown has repeatedly pledged that the G20 London summit will launch a “global green new deal” and G20 members are committed to including climate change in its discussions of the financial crisis. However, concerns have been raised after the draft G20 communique leaked at the weekend revealed that references to climate change were minimal, and the $2tn (£1.4tn) economic stimulus packages presented to counter the recession were not pro-environment.
Professor Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said ” “… [Low-carbon recovery] deserves a higher profile. It would be a missed opportunity while they’re talking about the economy not to talk about how to transform it to low carbon.”
Eminent climatologist James Hansen, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told the Guardian: “If this is the best they can do, then their ‘planet in peril’ rhetoric is probably just that – empty rhetoric.”
Many experts believe that if a strong green element is emphasised at the G20 meeting, it will send a clear sign that climate change is a high international priority and demonstrate that the financial crisis and global warming can be tackled simultaneously. Meaningful ‘green’ promises would also be likely facilitate progress at Copenhagen in December.
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