Youth organizations from 21 countries have issued a statement calling on the G8 to abandon a disastrous “Energy Security” strategy whose details were first revealed by Oil Change International in February of this year, and which is scheduled for approval during the G8 Summit later this week (July 15-17). According to the 53 youth organizations that issued the statement, the draft G8 strategy is an “outrageous abdication of leadership” and they are calling on the G8 to stop subsidizing the expansion of the international oil and fossil fuel industry and to focus limited public resources on promoting long-term alternatives.

Adjusted for inflation, the market price of oil is at its highest level since the last oil shock of 1979-80 and oil-importing impoverished countries are once again under stress. There is no doubt that more needs to be done to help impoverished countries deal with the impact of rising oil prices and overcome energy poverty, but G8 oil subsidies are all about feeding over-consumption in the North, not fighting energy poverty. Furthermore, the G8 is essentially arguing that it can effectively fight climate change while simultaneously mobilizing trillions of dollars of investment in fossil fuels. Youth leaders aren’t buying it. They are rightly pointing out that “it is impossible to discuss energy security apart from global climate change and global poverty.” They want action to fight global warming and overcome energy poverty, not more subsidies for fossil fuels.