Environment G8: Chair’s Summary in Four Moves for July Summit

Environment Ministers at the Castle of Maniace in Syracuse


Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo wound up the Environment G8 in Maniace Castle in Syracuse by stressing the need for "a convergence among the industrialised countries and the emerging economies on a joint agreement” to address climate change and CO2 emissions.

In the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in Copenhagen next December, there are still five problems to be solved on the climate, and the governments have set them out in black and white. Meanwhile, Brazil has proposed a 10% petrol tax on the oil industry’s profits to be allocated to fighting climate change.

Climate and Technology – The chief points are investment in the production and more efficient use of energy, to the joint benefit of economic growth and the climate, stepping up joint public and private investment in research and ensuring the poorest populations of electricity supplies. The summary also emphasises the importance of the national emission cutting plan strategies and the commitment to keep the temperature increase due to global warning within the 2 degree limit. The leadership role that the industrialised countries have to take on is also highlighted. ‘’A global agreement on the climate will only be possible if it is endorsed by everybody,” Minister Prestigiacomo said. The conference was also attended by the NGOs that, the Italian minister said, had “contributed to raising governments’ awareness”.

Biodiversity Final Report – The Syracuse Biodiversity Final Report (24 drives and five proposals) signed by the Environment G8 might be summed up as follows: embarking on a joint path, including the identification of beneficial legislative options, so as to succeed in completing the negotiations on the international resource access and sharing system before 2010 is out. The G8 ministers, in agreement with their opposite numbers from Australia, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and Sweden and with the international organisations, decided to safeguard biodiversity from four main points of view: the climate, the economy, ecosystem services and science and research. The Final Report’s measures also include the “development of synergetic political lines" in favour of biodiversity, not least in view of the contribution they make to the adaption and mitigation of climate change at the local, national and global levels. It goes on to discuss the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity with a view to improving the management of water resources, forests, agriculture and the coastal and marine areas and the development of infrastructure, including the use of advanced technologies with guarantees of adequate transfer. Clamping down on illegal deforestation and capturing and storing CO2 emissions are also covered.

Health and children – ensuring children of “being born into and growing up and enjoying development and prosperity in an environment offering clean air and water, safe food and minimum exposure to harmful chemicals.” The children’s health and the environment chapter was opened by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson (United States), and the Japanese minister, Testo Saito. Several appropriate drives were identified: banning lead completely from paints and petrol; working together on surveys and studies on children’s health, including the impact of chemical agents, heavy metals and climate change; enhancing knowledge and building the professional skills involved in children’s health issues.
‘’It is a duty incumbent on governments and the international community to safeguard those with fewer defences against exposure to environmental hazards,” Ms. Prestigiacomo concluded.

Siracusa Final Report on Biodiversity    (pdf file format)

Siracusa Environment Ministerial Meeting: Chair's Summary   (pdf file format)