By Nick Beams
9 July 2008
Facing what is arguably its most serious crisis since the end of the Second World War, the global capitalist economy has never been in greater need of co-ordinated policies from the world’s major national governments.
But unity and collaboration in the face of the mounting problems posed by climate change, oil and food price hikes and the ever-present threat of recession, have been conspicuously absent from the meeting of the G8 major industrial nations being held in Hokkaido, Japan, this week.
Nowhere were the divisions more apparent than in yesterday’s statement on climate change. After much behind the scenes negotiations, the G8 meeting finally agreed to a communiqué in which the major industrial powers agreed to a “vision” of “achieving at least 50 percent reduction of global emissions by 2050.” However, in order to secure agreement from US President George Bush, who has refused to name any target in the absence of commitments from India and China, the statement added a rider “recognising that this global challenge can only be met by a global response, in particular, by the contributions from all major economies.”
The statement was dismissed by scientists as lagging far behind what was needed to arrest global climate change.
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