Published Jul 15 2009 by Energy Bulletin
Archived Jul 15 2009

Reflections on the G8 summit - July 15

by Staff

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The Alternative G8 Summit: Final Summary Statement

Friends of the Earth International, Conflict of the Obvious
Ahead of the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, members of civil society movements gathered in Sardinia for an alternative G8 summit. Here is their statement on the climate, energy and natural resource management crisis.

The climate crises into which the world has been plunged is a crisis that will continue to deepen unless decisive steps are taken to halt the unsustainable consumption lifestyle dependent on increasing use of fossil fuels. Today the world has a clear path that needs to be taken to directly tackle the climate crisis and this is a common sense approach of simply keeping fossil fuels in the soil. We drilled our way into this crisis and further drilling will not get us out of it.

The climate crises finds its root causes in the energy crises, over-consumption of natural reources by the global North and elites worlwide, wasteful and harmful production patterns and a fundamentally undemocratic and anti-social way of managing natural resources, which systematically prevented local communities from their sovereignity on their own resources and development choices.

...The G8 approach to the climate crises remains limited and confined in the territory of market based mechanisms and the primacy of the private sector. This approach has already proved to be a failure and to favour only corporations to accumulate more profits, does not pay for reparation for damages to the environment and communities generated so far and avoid transforming their business.

In a responsible and mature manner international social movements are proposing instead a comprehensive bottom-up strategy to tackle climate change, centred on individual, communities and public institutions’ responsibilities and aimed at limiting corporations’ capacity to avoid their legal and ethical responsibilities.
(8 July 2009)

The G-8 Is Dead

Dirk Kurbjuweit, Der Spiegel
Democracy no longer counts for much. Neither does freedom. And human rights have lost their claim to universal validity.

That, in a nutshell, is one result of the G-8 summit in the Italian city of L'Aquila last week. It was a funeral ceremony: The G-8 is dead, at least as a global leadership forum. It has now been reduced to a mere talking shop for certain heads of state and government. The important decisions are made elsewhere

-- at the G-20, for example...

...And in the future what counts is numbers, not values. Or, as an adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel put it in L'Aquila: "The new value is called 'common survival.'" The main themes of the summit were climate, water and nutrition.

The Earth has more people than it can support, and therefore the focus of world politics is shifting to people. They are no longer primarily seen as beings that deserve education, freedom, democracy and human rights. They are now seen as beings that use too much water and emit too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is no longer a question of liberation, but of imposing limits. Consequently, the West no longer sees the Chinese mainly as victims of oppression, but rather as being partly responsible for the destruction of the climate...
(13 July 2009)

G8 summit features evolution of global governance

Fang Yang, China View

The Group of Eight (G8) summit has ended in the central Italian town of L'Aquila. Despite little progress on prominent issues such as climate change, the annual gathering of world leaders should be noted to have more profound implications.

The summit marked an expanding dialogue and cooperation between the G8 nations and developing countries. It reflected the increasing role of developing countries in dealing with global issues amid the call for a reform of the traditional G8 mode.

Faced with an economic crisis and other challenges threatening human survival and development, world governments are pushing for global governance which is multilateral and democratic.

...In its history of more than three decades, the G8 summit has never seen so many developing countries participate and so many topics on the agenda as this year.

At the summit, the G8 members had a series of talks with several developing countries on a variety of issues, such as climate change, food security and world trade. They not only secured 20 billion U.S. dollars to help African countries fight hunger, but also demonstrated a spirit of equal and inclusive multilateralism.

The North-South dialogue was further strengthened. For the first time, the G8 members and five emerging economies plus Egypt issued a joint declaration after their meeting, stating their joint position on global challenges. They also agreed to continue their dialogue as the Heiligendamm-L'Aquila Process for another two years.

Meanwhile, the five emerging economies continued to use the G8 summit as a platform to strengthen the South-South cooperation by holding a separate G5 meeting on the sidelines. The G5 meeting was intended to increase the collective say of the five emerging economies in international affairs.
(14 July 2009)