""hile Copenhagen did not deliver what itset out to do, the urgency of addressingthe climate change threat remains. TheG8 and G20 serve as crucial momentsat which Heads of State can substantively advanceclimate change commitments ahead of the next UNclimate conference in Mexico on 29 November to10 December this year. Canada carries a specialresponsibility to shape the Summit agenda but hasso far failed to give climate change the necessaryprominence. The UN climate change conference in Copenhagen inDecember 2009 involved 120 Heads of State - anunprecedented level of political engagement in a UNmeeting held outside of the UN Headquarters in NewYork. This shows that tackling climate change isrecognised as one of the most pressing and multi-faceted challenges we face - it requires agreement ofevery country and cuts across virtually everygeopolitical issue from energy security to food security;from human health to historical responsibility. Copenhagen represented an historic moment ofinternational cooperation and demonstrated levels ofpolitical engagement at the highest level. Yet thesummit failed to deliver the comprehensive, science-based and equitable "global deal" millions of peoplearound the world called for. What Copenhagen taught us, more than anything, washow hard it is to get all of the elements of such acomplex and challenging process to come together inone place at one moment.But the Copenhagen Accord, though not a "globaldeal" in the form and level of ambition we had hopedfor, did break through some of the distrust betweendeveloped and developing nations which had until thattime prevented real commitment. To have FrenchPresident Nicolas Sarkozy, Indian Prime MinisterManmohan Singh, Brazilian President Lula da Silva,US President Barack Obama, and a handful of otherworld leaders in a room together, drafting the text of aglobal climate change agreement on laptops balancedon their knees is indicative of a level of cooperationand shared responsibility that has been lacking inprevious years. Post-Copenhagen, we must not drop the ball onclimate change. Other international meetings can -and to an extent must - help achieve progress that canin turn generate momentum towards agreement withinthe UN process. Key meetings during 2010 includethe G8 and G20 Summits - this year being held inCanada (G8 and G20 in June) and South Korea (G20in November). PUTTING CLIMATE CHANGE BACK ON THE TABLECanada has the responsibility for hosting the G8 andG20 Summits in June, which is the scene where someof the most influential countries in the world can injectnew momentum towards agreement to tackle climatechange. The Summits will be the first time these headsof state and government meet since Copenhagen.WWF will be watching for signals of reneweddetermination to act on climate change.Climate change is not new to the agendas of suchmeetings. It was the G8 who, in 1979, committedunilaterally to reduce C02 emissions in theatmosphere in response to the emerging certainty ofthe link between greenhouse gases and a warmingBACK ON THE TABLE? CLIMATE CHANGE AT THE G8 AND G20 SUMMITSEVEN IF ALL COUNTRIESACHIEVE REDUCTIONS ATTHE UPPER ENDOF THE PLEDGEDRANGES IN THECOPENHAGEN ACCORD, ANALYSISSUGGESTS WEFACE WARMING OF 3.5-4ºC, WITHDEVASTATING IMPACTS ON PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES,SPECIES ANDHABITATS PROTECTING 036THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENTWKIM CARSTENSEN, LEADER OF THE GLOBAL CLIMATE INITIATIVE, WWF INTERNATIONALPhoto: WWF-Canon / Richard Stonehouse
PROTECTING THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT037Above: WWFInternational's KimCarstensen: "The urgencyof addressing the climatechange threat remains" Main Picture: WWF at theGlobal Day of Action inCopenhagenGREAT EXPECTATIONS - CLOSE THE GAPGovernments are also ignoring a major gap that exists between the aspiration of limiting globaltemperature rise to below 2°C and the greenhouse gasreduction pledges contained in the CopenhagenAccord. Even if all countries achieve reductions at the upperend of the pledged ranges in the Copenhagen Accord,analysis suggests we face warming of 3.5-4°C, withdevastating impacts on people and communities,species and habitats. In this context, there is a pressing need for the G8countries - the richest in the world, with the greatesthistorical responsibility for causing climate change - toshow leadership by agreeing to increase their emissionreduction targets in line with the levels recommendedby scientists. In addition, G8 countries must help close the gap byproviding climate financing required to enable thepoorest and most vulnerable countries adapt to climatechange, as promised in the Copenhagen Accord. G20countries must make a political commitment toidentify the sources and mechanisms for long-termclimate financing in time for the UNFCCC meeting inCancun, Mexico this December.Each G20 country is due to deliver plans and time-lines showing how they will phase out their subsidies toenergy sources including coal and oil. WWF expects tosee movement forwards on this, which could not onlygreatly lower emissions of greenhouse gases, but alsoallow us to transition to clean, renewable energysources as part of the transition to low-carboneconomies, providing economic stimulus and greenjobs in the process.For more information email WWF at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org nworld. This commitment brought significant politicalimpetus to the issue of climate change beingaddressed at the UN-level in following years.And more recently, at last year's summit in L'Aquila, Italy, the G8 agreed the aspiration to limit global temperature rise to below the 2°Cthreshold. In the turmoil of the global economic crisis- and perhaps in recognition of the futility of rebuilding an inherently flawed system - the G8 alsocommitted to invest in a clean, environmentallysustainable, low-carbon economy. The G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in 2009 committed to phase outsubsidies for coal and oil. These meetings outside of the UN system can provideclear political signals to tackle climate change, andthereby build trust in the multilateral UN process. Ofcourse, these countries must also deliver on theirpolitical commitments through real emissionsreductions at home. WWF wants to see accountabilityfor previous commitments being included on the G8 agenda, together with an assessment of how well countries are delivering on their climate change commitments. Unfortunately, just weeks before the Summits, it isunclear whether climate change will be on the agendasof either the G8 or the G20. Canada has not givenclimate change a prominent place on the G8 agenda,nor convened a meeting of G8 Environment Ministers- the first time such a meeting has been omitted sinceGeorge W. Bush hosted the G8 in 2004. A particularly critical question is whether identifyingsources and mechanisms for providing financing formitigation and adaptation actions in vulnerablecountries will receive space on the G20 agenda. BIOGRAPHYKim Carstensen is the leader of WWF Global Climateand Energy Initiative at WWF International. FormerlyCEO of WWF Denmark, Mr Carstensen has beenworking on climate, global environment anddevelopment policy for many years. He was on theofficial Danish delegation to the Rio Conference in1992 and led WWF's preparation process for theWorld Summit on Sustainable Development inJohannesburg in 2002. Mr Carstensen headed theWWF International team at the recent CopenhagenSummit. He has insight into crucial politicaldecisions about climate change due to directinteraction with relevant key players in the keycountries over the years.