Global Warming: Engaging the US at the G8 Summit
Panel discussion on the second day of the G8 summit with John Boright, International Affairs Director at the US National Academy of Sciences; Anatol Lieven, Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation
Co-sponsored by the Streit Council and Citizens for Global Solutions at UN Information Center,1775 K Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC - June 7, 2007
On May 16, the National Academy of Sciences, together with the national science Academies of all the G8 countries, called on the G8 to take strong joint action on global warming. Angela Merkel of Germany, as head of the G8 for 2007, has put global warming high on its agenda. She will preside at the G8 Summit on June 6-8. UN Secretary General Ban has endorsed the G8 taking up this challenge and said he will attend the summit. Germany (Merkel), France (Sarkozy), Britain (Blair) and Japan (Abe) are pushing for a strong common G8 position on global warming that will lead to global negotiations on a successor to Kyoto. The US is resisting; nevertheless, in preparatory joint G8 statements it has gone along with stronger formulations on climate change than in the past.
How far can the summit go on global warming? Can the G8 bring the US along to support more effective cooperation on this matter than what has been achieved in other forums? If the US causes the G8 statement to be watered down too far, will it damage America's best friends among the G8 leaders - Merkel, Sarkozy, Blair, Abe - who are trying to rebuild the alliance with America? Can the G8 and the UN system do more together in the future in organizing international cooperation against global warming? The panel addressed these and other questions on the eve of the final day of the summit.
Ira Straus (Citizens for Global Solutions)