Johannesburg, South Africa – As the G8 meeting in Italy ended with little progress on saving the climate, Greenpeace called for public pressure to demand that the world’s wealthiest governments take decisive action on climate change.
This morning, Greenpeace activists painted “G8: FAILED” on the Gallia Graeca vessel, to demand climate leadership from the G8 countries. This Cyprus-registered ship is carrying coal from Richard’s Bay, South Africa to Civitavecchia power station in Italy.
The Greenpeace Activists painted “G8: FAILED” on the side of the vessel while she was waiting at the anchorage to go in to unload her deadly carbon cargo. Although Greenpeace cannot verify the exact quantity of coal she was carrying, according to the Lloyd’s registry, her net cargo capacity is 25,246 tonnes.
Greenpeace political advisor Tobias Muenchmeyer, warned that time is running out for the climate saying: “By failing to commit to the crucial mid-term targets and the US$106 billion which needs to be provided annually to help developing countries tackle climate change and fund forest protection, they have failed to agree on the most important building blocks to gain an historical agreement at the Copenhagen UN Climate Summit, which is just 150 days away.”
With the failure of G8 leaders to commit to climate action, the onus is on President Zuma and other African leaders who are in Italy today, to continue to demand for leadership and financial support to enable Africa invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency sources and take the opportunity of creating green jobs. It is also a chance for Zuma’s government to embrace the energy revolution and move away from heavy reliance on coal and belief that nuclear power is a cheap energy option in a world threatened by climate change.
“The G8 had an historic opportunity but have squandered it, by failing to commit to mid-term emissions cuts and deferring discussion on money to enable the developing world to tackle climate change to the G20, said Guruswamy Ananthapadmanabhan, Greenpeace International Programme Director.
“Instead of seizing the opportunity to tackle climate change and saving the world’s most vulnerable countries, including African nations, from the devastating effects it is already causing, they deferred responsibility to future governments and future generations. Their legacies and more importantly our futures are at stake, he stressed.