Friday, June 1, 2007

How Legitimate is G8 2007?

This year’s G8 summit concerns primarily on climate protection issues, but there are other pressing issues that need discussion too.

By: Vanessa Uy

The 2007 incarnation of G8, dubbed “G8 Plus 5” has very lofty goals that it promises to achieve. Formulating a binding agreement on climate change protection and a cap on greenhouse gas emissions are on the top of the agenda won’t be easy. And the issue of sustainable development and “carbon credits” need more than good intentions to formulate a binding resolution that the global community would find equitable. The somewhat esoteric issue about “hedge funds” should also be discussed by the conference. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shown concern over the issue of “hedge funds.” She even proposed a code of conduct on “hedge funds” and a discussion on minimum private quotas. If all goes well, this could make globalization more equitable for the world’s poor.

Germany’s current G8 presidency might result in a significant progress on climate protection issues because Germany-like most of the European Union-is staunchly pro environment and probably the only ones with the political will to meet the 2012 Kyoto Protocol targets on greenhouse gas emissions. This caused howls of protests from the US and China who perceives that Angela Merkel’s pro environment policies-like the rest of the EU states-undermines the economic well being of American and Chinese industries.

While anti-globalization activists defend their view that the G8 lacks legitimacy because it puts first the interests of rich industrialized countries like the US above those of the needs of developing nations. This is the reason why every annual G8 summit draws in it’s fair share of angry demonstrators and activists. And “G8 Plus 5” will be no different because it takes more than good intentions to solve the pressing problems of global warming and extreme poverty.

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