L’Aquila, Italy (RPRN) 7/08/2009–Leaders of the worldâ€™s wealthiest industrialized countries gathering in Lâ€™Aquila must commit to keep global average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius in order to prevent climate change from threatening the future of our planet, WWF says ahead of the G8 summit.
The meeting taking place in Lâ€™Aquila from July 8-10 will be a major test of leadership and commitment, and will show whether the wealthy world is willing to take responsibility for a common fight against rising temperatures and devastating climate change.
â€œIt is very simple. A clear commitment to a 2 degree Celsius danger threshold on paper is an absolute must for G8 countries,â€ said Kim Carstensen, the leader of WWFâ€™s Global Climate Initiative.
â€œThe countries gathering in Lâ€™Aquila have the biggest responsibility to show leadership on climate. Without their action we cannot expect the rest of the world to move.â€
G8 leaders must agree to set ambitious mid-term targets for emissions reductions for 2020, and must show the world that they are committed to go all the way. They are discussing a long term goal of reducing their own emissions by 80 per cent in 2050. According to WWF, 80 per cent is at the low end of what is needed. WWF is asking for -95% by 2050, and -40 % by 2020 compared 1990 for the group of industrialized countries. The US should take on a comparable target, in nature, legal form and effort.
â€œWe are looking for a clear declaration from G8 leaders to reduce their own emissions by at least 80 per cent or more below 1990 levels by 2050. This is an absolute minimum and anything weaker will be a complete failure.â€
â€œA firm statement by the G8 will send a powerful signal to the developing world and make it easier for the poorer countries to slash their emissions,â€ Carstensen said.
It is urgent that long-term goals are clear in terms of their base year being 1990, to ensure comparability of effort between countries, recognition of early action and specificity with regards to the emission pathway required to stay well below 2 degrees C.
The Major Economies Forum or MEF, a meeting of 17 Major Economies which account for roughly 80 percent of the worldâ€™s emissions, will take place on the sidelines of the G8.
MEF should move the debate forward on technology by mobilizing resources for Technology Action Programs, which should focus on technologies of interest to developing countries, such as concentrated solar power, smart electricity grids, energy efficient buildings, systems for monitoring deforestation, and early-warning weather stations.
â€œWe need MEF to show clear leadership on technology cooperation, and to make sure that more funding is committed to technology research and development. A doubling of public research funding by 2012 is immediately needed,â€ Kim Carstensen said.
â€œThe meeting in Italy is the best opportunity there is and will be to show true leadership. There is no better moment to finally do something.â€
Photo credit: Wikipedia