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Climate Change Statement

2008 G8 Summit
December 21, 2007

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently concluded, the serious effects of
global warming are already being felt and will increase in severity from a continuing rise in global
greenhouse gas emissions. The recent attention by the US to human-induced climate change has
helped increase its international engagement on these concerns. Impoverished countries will be hit
first and worst by the consequences of climate change and will have the least capacity to cope with
increasingly devastating impacts, including water scarcity, droughts, sea-level rise, floods, disruption
of agricultural production, and spread of disease. Indeed, climate change is quickly becoming one of
the major drivers of poverty around the world, contributing to economic destabilization, resource
conflicts, and migration and refugee crises.

InterAction’s G8 NGO Coordination Group respectfully asks the United States to urge the G-8
Summit to address the following issues at Hokkaido in 2008 and within the G8 communiqué:

1. The G8 countries must reaffirm the UNFCCC and the Bali Action Plan as the central arena in
which governments will address climate change.

2. The G8 countries must commit to provide substantially increased and rapidly scaled up
assistance to vulnerable developing countries for their needs to adapt to the already existing
and increasingly severe impacts of climate change.

3. G8 countries must commit to lead the way towards reductions in global greenhouse gas
emissions of well below 50% by mid-century. To accomplish this global temperature increases
must be limited to no more than 2 degrees C/3.6 degrees F above pre-industrial levels.

4. The G8 must reaffirm the commitments from the 2005 G8 Summit to promote energy
efficiency and conservation and the development and rapid deployment of clean energy
technologies for use in both developing and industrialized countries. Furthermore, the G8
countries must substantially increase commitments to the financing and transfer of these
technologies.

Anticipated Impacts

It is incumbent on the G8 countries to show bold leadership on climate change, particularly to
mitigate and address the impacts on the poorest countries. According to the IPCC, vulnerable
communities in developing countries will be the least able to cope with the severe impacts of climate
change. The anticipated impacts of climate change on global poverty will likely include the
following:
 More than 250 million people could face climate-related water shortages in Africa by 2020.
Yields from rain-fed agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa could be reduced by up to 50 percent
by 2020, which would adversely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition.
 Diseases such as diarrhea and cholera are expected to increase due to flooding and
increased water temperature in South Asia. More than a billion people will face stress as a
result of short-term flooding and long-term water shortages in the region due to rapid glacial
melt.
 In Latin America, changes in precipitation patterns and the disappearance of glaciers are
projected to significantly affect water availability for human consumption, agriculture and
energy generation.

According to the UK 2006 Review on the Economics of Climate Change by Sir Nicholas Stern, “[t]he
poorest developing countries will be hit earliest and hardest by climate change, even though they have
contributed little to causing the problem…The international community has an obligation to support
them in adapting to climate change. Without such support, there is a serious risk that development
progress will be undermined.”

Changes Needed

In light of these increasingly serious impacts, it will be necessary to dramatically cut global greenhouse
gas emissions so that global temperature increases of 2 degrees C/3.6 degree F above pre-industrial
levels are not exceeded. However, as the IPCC and others have recently warned, even dramatic cuts
in emissions will not prevent serious impacts already being felt in developing countries. Impoverished
countries will need substantial assistance to cope with the serious and widespread impacts of global
warming.

As the largest economies in the world, as well as the largest historical polluters of greenhouse gas
emissions, the G8 nations have the capacity, the responsibility, and the legal obligation under the Rio
Framework Convention to make a serious commitment to immediately cut their emissions and assist
impoverished countries and communities. G8 countries should play a leading role in the global effort
to build the resiliency of poor and vulnerable communities.

In addition, the G8 countries must commit to provide funding and take other steps to facilitate the
deployment of clean energy technologies needed for major emitting developing countries to reduce
the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions. This provides an opportunity for the G8 countries to
promote clean energy technologies and stimulate new areas of economic activity.

In 2007, the G8 heads of state affirmed the centrality of negotiations under the auspices of the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and committed to “seriously consider” halving
greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. At the 2006 G8 Summit, an effort to create an international
framework to support clean energy in developing countries was initiated.

Those expressions of support for efforts to address climate change as well as mechanisms to assure
follow through must be reaffirmed and strengthened at the 2008 G8 Summit.

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Recommendations

1. The G8 countries must reaffirm the UNFCCC and the Bali Action Plan as the central arena in
which governments will address climate change. In particular, the negotiations for a post-
2012 international climate agreement launched in Bali should be endorsed, including a
mandate to conclude negotiations by 2009 with a strong focus on international equity.

2. The G8 countries must commit to provide substantially increased and rapidly scaled up
assistance to vulnerable developing countries for their needs to adapt to the already existing
and increasingly severe impacts of climate change. This assistance must include new and
additional resources beyond traditional ODA commitments. The G8 countries should also
support the inclusion in a post-2012 international climate agreement of binding, quantified
commitments to provide adequate, predictable, and sustainable assistance to vulnerable
developing countries. In order to inform this commitment, the G8 should support assessment
efforts currently underway, including under the Nairobi Plan of Action, identifying the needs of
developing countries relating to adaptation to climate change, the costs, and a strategy for
addressing the needs. This should also be integrated with efforts to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals.

3. G8 countries must commit to lead the way towards reductions in global greenhouse gas
emissions of well below 50% by mid-century. To accomplish this global temperature increases
must be limited to no more than 2 degrees C/3.6 degrees F above pre-industrial levels.
Exceeding the 2-degree level will create unacceptable consequences, particularly for
developing countries. As their fair share of meeting this global goal, developed countries
must commit to substantial reductions in emissions of at least 30% below 1990 levels by
2020, en route to much deeper reductions by 2050. This obligation should be met primarily
through domestic actions, supplemented by assistance for emission reductions in other
countries.

4. The G8 must reaffirm the commitments from the 2005 G8 Summit to promote energy
efficiency and conservation and the development and rapid deployment of clean energy
technologies including a particular focus on developing countries. Furthermore, the G8
countries must substantially increase commitments to the financing and transfer of these
technologies. The G8 countries must facilitate efforts by major emitting developing countries
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through binding commitments by developed countries for
the transfer and deployment of clean energy technology. In addition, the G8 must help in
providing incentives for reducing tropical deforestation, which currently accounts for roughly
20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring community rights and livelihoods.

December 20, 2007
The following organizations contributed to the climate change statement
Oxfam America
National Wildlife Federation
Friends of the Earth
Union of Concerned Scientists
US Climate Action Network
Mercy Corps
Bread for the World
Care

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For questions or feedback please contact:
John Ruthrauff, Senior Manager of Member Advocacy
InterAction
1400 16th Street NW, Suite 210
Washington DC 20036
jruthrauff@interAction.org
202-552-6523
InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian
nongovernmental originations. With more than 165 members operating in every developing country,
we work to overcome poverty, exclusion, and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity
for all.

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