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Civil Society and Expanded Dialogue Unit

G8 and Africa | Civil Society | Climate Change | Expanded Dialogue

See also G8 Online 2005

Interview with
Daniel Mittler
Political Advisor to Greenpeace International

27 June 2005

Greenpeace is a non-governmental organization that represents over 2.8 million people in over 40 countries.  Its campaigns, which date back to 1971, focus on threats to the world’s environment and biodiversity.

G8RG: Do you believe that participation of the US in Kyoto will be sufficient progress on tackling climate change? If not, what sort of initiative would you recommend to the G8.

Daniel Mittler: It is essential that the US federal governments stops being a pariah nation and agrees to join international, legally-binding, greenhouse gas control regime. This will not be sufficient, as the currently agreed steps under the Kyoto Protocol but an essential but only a first step to achieve the necessary emission cuts that are required.  Beyond the US agreeing to join and legally binding greenhouse gas control regime at the multilateral level, Greenpeace recommends that the G8 summit should:

1. Accept both science and urgent need to act on climate change;

2. Agree that two degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels as a maximum permissible and act accordingly;

3. Recommend that the official UNFCCC process must agree as soon as possible to 30% emission reductions by industrialised countries (by 2020) based on an extension to the Kyoto Protocol’s mandatory emissions reductions requirements for developed/industrialised/OECD countries, and including a larger number of countries than it does at present;

4. Recognizing the legitimate aspirations for economic development in the developing world and the need for equity in the response to theclimate challenge. The G8 countries should therefore commit to provide  (at no economic cost) low/no carbon technologies (primarily) to the rapidly developing countries of the South;

5. Make it clear that nuclear power is a dangerous and environmentally disastrous form of energy.

G8RG: What progress are you expecting the G8 to make on the issue of climate change?

Daniel Mittler: We do not expect Bush to sign up to a strong statement on climate change. The best outcome would be a strong statement by the G8 (minus the US) plus China, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil where there is a real chance of practical progress. There are already significant moves happening in the US despite the Bush administration (individual state initiatives, business initiatives) and once US business sees that a huge economic opportunity is being denied them through the intransigence of the Bush administration they will start to take real action (witness recent moves by GE).
In the meantime, although the Bush administration is a hopeless case, we do believe that large scale public pressure will increase the chances of a positive outcome from the G8.


The G8 Research Group would like to thank all the organizations and individuals
who participated in interviews.
The views expressed herein do not reflect the views of the G8 Research Group.

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