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Criticism Against G8 Agreement

Published torsdag 23 juli 2009 kl 10.31
Professor Johan Rockström is one of the critical voices

Thursday saw the start of the EU Environment and Energy ministers' informal meeting ahead of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, in the small mountain town of Åre, in the north of Sweden. But in the Swedish media, several prominent voices were criticising what has been achieved so far.

The General Secretary of the EU commission, José Manuel Barroso, was heavily criticised Thursday in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter  by  the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, Jacqueline McGlade and Johan Rockström, a professor at Stockholm University. They wrote that Barroso is trying to give the impression that there is  scientific proof that global warming could be stabilised "at only 2 degrees centigrade" through reducing emissions by half by 2050 compared to 1990.

"This is false and that makes it a both dangerous and irresponsible move," wrote McGlade and Rockström. They are both of the opinion that it is a way of "lulling humanity into a sense of false security".

According to McGlade and Rockström, the situation is a lot more serious. They point to the findings in 2007 by the UN's Scientific Climate Panel IPCC. These indicated that an emission reduction by 80-90% globally until 2050 would be necessary.

At the moment Sweden, holding the presidency post, and Denmark, hosting the Copenhagen Climate Conference, will have a large impact on the negotiations. Although Rockström and McGlade think that Sweden is "showing genuine leadership" while dealing with the climate negotiations, they issued words of warning.

"Let's not allow this chance be wasted in Åre by pretending that the sun is shining while all along a storm is raging around us," McGlade and Rockström wrote.

Others are also disappointed in the outcome of the G8 summit. On Thursday the vice president of the European Commission, Margot Wallström, the former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland wrote in Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that it was "disappointing that the industrial countries failed to agree on ambitious emission targets and substantial economic commitments" during the Italian G8 summit.

"At the Copenhagen conference we will expect the industrial countries to commit to reducing their emissions by 40 % latest by 2020 and also that 150 billion US dollars yearly will be set aside for climate work in the developing countries", they wrote in SvD.

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