A coalition of about 30 U.S. development and environmental NGOs called on President Bush today to stop standing in the way of a landmark deal on climate change at the upcoming G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.
The coalition, which includes Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth U.S., Oxfam America, the Sierra Club, Action Aid USA and many others, argued that U.S. intransigence is an obstacle to international efforts to avoid dangerous climate change and a threat to global efforts to fight poverty.
In an open letter to President Bush, the coalition argued that: “Over the past century, the United States and other wealthy countries have been and continue to be responsible for a disproportionate amount of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
With only five percent of the world’s population, the United States emits about 25 percent of greenhouse gases generated by human activity. Over the course of history, its responsibility is even greater. The G8 nations, which have emitted the greatest volume of greenhouse gases, have a unique responsibility to take action now not only to reduce their contributions to global warming, but also to provide assistance to help address the consequences that developing countries are increasingly facing.”
Among other things, the coalition argued that: “The world’s wealthiest countries should end domestic and international subsidies to oil and other fossil fuels and support the development of sustainable energy alternatives in developing countries.”
The coalition also argued that roughly $50 billion dollars a year would be needed to help developing countries deal with the impacts of global warming if action is not taken immediately, and that those most responsible creating the problem, such as the United States, should take responsibility for providing these funds.