“Vague” G20 disappoint green groups

World leaders at the Group of 20 (G20) summit disappointed environmental groups, who said their commitment to fight climate change had been vague, Reuters reported. While the G20 reaffirmed a commitment to sign a new climate deal this year, the London meeting had focused on averting financial meltdown. US president Barack Obama said afterwards, however, that the United States would “lead by example” on climate change.

Concluding their summit, the leaders of the major economies pledged US$1.1 trillion to save the world economy and to boost consumer and business confidence. “In mobilising the world’s economies to fight back against recession, we are resolved to … promote low-carbon growth and to create the green jobs on which our future prosperity depends,” said British prime minister Gordon Brown, the summit host. “We are committed to … working together to seek agreement on a post-2012 climate-change regime at the UN conference in Copenhagen in December.”

Environment experts and lobbyists had wanted a stronger pledge, to re-build a leaner economy run on wind and solar power. “For making the transition to a ‘green’ economy, there is no money on the table, just vague aspirations,” said John Sauven, the environmental group Greenpeace’s executive director.


Obama said that in discussions with prime minister Manmohan Singh of India, “We talked about how important it is for the United States to lead by example to reduce our carbon footprint so that we can help to forge agreements with countries like China and India.” Developing nations, he added, also must act.


“China and India … justifiably chafe at the idea that they should somehow sacrifice their development for our efforts to control climate change,” Obama noted. “If China and India, with their populations, had the same energy usage as the average American, then we would all have melted by now.”


See full story here and here