G8 Environment Ministers' Meeting
Syracuse will be hosting the environment ministers’ meeting, the fourth of the ministerial meetings scheduled from the beginning of the year up to the Summit in L'Aquila, from 22 to 24 April. Countering climate change and the preservation of biodiversity will be two of the main items on the agenda.
In addition to the ministers from the G8 countries, the Czech Republic, in its capacity as European Union duty president, and the European Commission will also be attending. The Summit is also being extended to representatives from China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia, the Republic of Korea and Egypt, and Denmark, which is to host the United Nations Conference on the Climate next December, has been invited as well. A number of international organisations and representatives from civil society will also be present.
The Syracuse meeting’s mission is to send out an important political message on biodiversity and to ease dialogue on climate change in the approach to the Copenhagen conference, whose job it will be to lay down the global strategy for the post-Kyoto era.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for an international exchange of views on issues including the balanced use of natural resources and the investments that might be made in new technologies.
Indeed, any switch to a more sustainable economy calls for global financial commitment and a sharing of technological know-how, first and foremost for the emerging countries, which are more vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
The current economic crisis must not divert attention away from fighting climate change, but provide an opportunity for embarking on the road to long-term sustainable development.
The Syracuse Environment Ministers’ Summit will be preceded by a more technical Forum on Low Carbon Content Technologies to be held in Trieste from 3 to 5 April 2009.
The proceedings are scheduled to get under way on the morning of 22 April with a meeting with representatives of NGOs. A debate on the opportunities for encouraging economic recovery held out by technological innovation is scheduled in the afternoon. A discussion of ways for promoting clean fuel technologies for the purposes of taking up the dual challenge of climate change and fuel security is also envisaged following on from the commitment that emerged from last year’s Toyako G8 Summit.
The second session of the environment ministers’ meeting, to be held on 23 April, will look at the various post-Kyoto options in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on the Climate in Copenhagen. The meeting will be an opportunity for pondering ways to reconcile the financial commitments needed to stabilise the markets and the investment programmes required to cut emissions.
Talks on the latest prospects for biodiversity are scheduled for the afternoon of 23 April in the approach to 2010, International Year of Biodiversity. The fourth working session devoted to the theme “Children’s Health and the Environment“ will be held on the morning of Friday 24 April. This will be followed by the presentation of the Chair’s Summary and a final news conference.
For further information please consult the following website: www.g8ambiente.it.
Siracusa Final Report on Biodiversity (pdf file format)
Siracusa Environment Ministerial Meeting: Chair's Summary (pdf file format)
Final Press Release (pdf file format)