G8 Summit July 8-10 2009

Written by  //  July 14, 2009  //  Africa, Agriculture & Food, Canada, Climate Change, Economy, Environment & Energy, Geopolitics, Kimon Valskakis, Oil & gas, Sustainable Development  //  Comments Off on G8 Summit July 8-10 2009

 The Road to Italy’s 2009 G8 Summit – all major meetings since the G8 Summit of 2008
Kimon Valaskakis writes for the G8 Summit on Corporate Social Responsibility KV CSR for G8 PDF
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(Reuters) FACTBOX: Themes And Scenarios For G8 Summit In Italy
The talks are expected to focus on the state of the world economy, financial regulation, climate change and trade and development. Following are the main themes that will be discussed and possible outcomes from the meeting. More
Energy and climate declaration Full text

Gordon Smith: Get with it, G8 – admit ‘second class’ guests
Summitry: It makes much more sense to have everyone who counts entering through the main door
It is time to change the membership rules and the resulting architecture. If we want China and India to co-operate in responding to the international financial crisis and to contribute to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, they have to be full members of the club and not be treated as second-class citizens.
It is imperative for Canada to have a clear sense of how summits should be reorganized. Canada plays host to the next G8 summit, in Huntsville, Ont., in 2010. It has been widely recognized by many, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, that the musical-chairs approach followed this year is inadequate. President Barack Obama has indicated that he favours fewer summits with the G8 remaining as the core group, an approach Mr. Harper shares. The logic and the psychology of this approach must be questioned. The G8 was supposed to be a group of the leading industrialized democracies – the like-minded. So what is Russia doing as a member? Is it more like-minded than others who are not members? Why is the world’s largest democracy, India, not included in the core group? Why is China, which has much more economic clout than most G8 members, excluded?
Gordon Smith is executive director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. He was Jean Chrétien’s personal representative at G8 summits in the 1990s.
11 July
Next summit to be a classic Canadian compromise
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says 2010 Group of Eight meeting will look to balance inclusiveness and dialogue
(Globe & Mail) [He] suggested he would try to find comfortable ground between the vintage eight-only G8 and Mr. Berlusconi’s version, which included 28 heads of government and a dozen heads of international institutions – 40 in total, a 400-per-cent expansion over the core group.
What the G8 pledges mean
In the end, it seemed as though the main purpose of this summit was simply to take stock before the next global round of meetings. President Obama publicly warned Iran it had until the next G20 summit – due in September – to respond to an appeal to suspend its nuclear programme.
Many leaders invoked the Copenhagen meeting in December as the real deadline when it came to a proper global deal on tackling climate change.
So has the G8 had its day? President Obama seemed to hint as much, ruefully complaining there had been far too many summits already in the six months he had been in office.
G-8 makes massive food, farm aid pledge
G-8 leaders pledged $20 billion in aid to poor countries during the next three years to shore up food stocks amid the ongoing global recession and build agricultural capacity. Developing countries applauded the move, which expanded the expected commitment by $5 billion, but expressed worry about past failures to keep aid promises. AlertNet.org/Reuters (7/10) , The Washington Post (7/10)
9 July
Harper retarde encore une photo officielle
(La Presse) Décidément, le premier ministre canadien Stephen Harper éprouve quelques difficultés avec les photos officielles lors des grands sommets internationaux. Harper holds up summit photo again
8 July
G-8 Leaders Spar Over Stimulus, Leave ‘Exit Strategies’ Open
(Bloomberg) — Group of Eight leaders failed to bridge differences over combating the steepest recession since World War II, letting each country decide when to stop infusing money into the economy.
(NYT)  The debate over warming dominated the opening of the summit meeting, but the Group of 8 nations also tackled the global economic recession, Middle East peace, the war in Afghanistan and development in Africa. Mr. Obama invited his colleagues to a nuclear security conference in Washington in March and prepared to announce a $15 billion program to combat world hunger. And in a statement, the leaders said they “deplore postelectoral violence” in Iran, and they pressed Tehran for a diplomatic solution to the standoff on its nuclear program. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France told reporters late Wednesday that the major powers would give talks with Iran until September to make progress; but “then we will have to take decisions,” he said.
Hu quits G8 trip to tackle Xinjiang crisis
Hu Jintao, China’s president, cut short his visit to Italy, where he was planning to attend the annual G8 summit of world leaders, as authorities struggled to contain some of China’s worst ethnic violence in decades
7 July
Italy readies evacuation plan for G8
L’AQUILA, Italy (AP) — With the world’s most powerful leaders gathering in this city just three months after a devastating earthquake, Italian security officials have prepared an emergency evacuation plan to airlift the leaders to safety in case of another powerful tremor. The evacuation plan is part of massive security measures to protect the leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meeting in L’Aquila starting Wednesday. The April 6 earthquake leveled entire blocks in L’Aquila and the surrounding Abruzzo region, driving some 54,000 from their homes and killing 296 people. Premier Silvio Berlusconi decided to move the summit from a posh Sardinian island to L’Aquila in a show of support to the stricken population. But since April 6, daily aftershocks have hit the area, causing further distress to survivors in tents scattered across the area — and serving as a powerful reminder of the potential dangers facing the world’s leaders. On Friday, a 4.1 magnitude tremor hit just about kilometer (mile) away from the police barracks that will host U.S. President Barack Obama and the other leaders.
6 July
Economy, climate top agenda as PM heads for G8
(Globe & Mail) Topics range through the global economic crisis and the fallout from April’s G20 economic summit in London, climate change negotiations and this December’s critical UN summit in Copenhagen, stalled international aid to Africa, the contested Iranian election and international food security. From the Harper government’s perspective, a focus on the economy is much firmer ground than the summit’s other big tectonic plate: post-Kyoto climate change negotiations. The Conservatives are currently working on their third climate change policy in three years. Last week, the World Wildlife Fund ranked Canada last on climate change measures among G8 countries – which include Russia, the United States, Japan, Italy, Great Britain, Germany and France. Despite the presence in L’Aquila of some 38 national leaders representing more than 75 per cent of global emissions, [Harper spokesman Dimitri] Soudas said the G8 summit is not the primary venue for such negotiations.
Canada wants G8 common position on Iran
(Reuters) – Canada hopes that G8 leaders meeting in Italy this week will agree to a common position on dealing with Iran, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office said on Monday, calling Iran a “serious threat.”
G8 shifts focus from food aid to farming
(FT) US, Japan, Europe and Canada connect food security closely with economic growth and social progress as well as political stability in major scheme against global hunger
The G8 countries will this week announce a “food security initiative”, committing more than $12bn for agricultural development over the next three years, in a move that signals a further shift from food aid to long-term investments in farming in the developing world. The US and Japan will provide the bulk of the funding, with $3bn-$4bn each, with the rest coming from Europe and Canada, according to United Nations officials and Group of Eight diplomats briefed on the “L’Aquila Food Security Initiative”. Officials said it would more than triple spending.
5 July
Climate Body To Try To Bridge Differences Before G8

ROME – Officials from a 17-member body which account for the lions share of the world’s carbon emissions will hold urgent talks next Tuesday to iron out differences on the eve of a July 8-10 summit of the G8. The meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) – which account for 80 percent of global emissions – was called to narrow the gap between rich countries and developing nations such as India over long-term targets on global warming and emissions. … officials said persistent differences, particularly over the size of reductions in carbon emissions and the base year for comparisons, could scupper efforts to agree a joint declaration and result instead in a chairman’s summary of countries’ views. Reuters/PLanet Ark
3 July
India Joins Russia, China in Questioning U.S. Dollar Dominance
July 4 (Bloomberg) — Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is preparing to join leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations — the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia — at a summit in Italy next week which is due to tackle the global economy. China and Brazil will also send representative to the summit. As the talks have neared, China and Russia have stepped up calls for a rethink of how global currency reserves are composed and managed, underlining a power shift to emerging markets from the developed nations that spawned the financial crisis.
(BBC) The issue of how to deal with Iran is set to dominate the summit of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations in Italy next week. Some EU countries have urged caution, arguing that Europe should engage with Iran, not isolate it. But if the [British] embassy staff are put on trial, the EU may have few other options than to tighten the diplomatic screw, correspondents say.
July 3 (Reuters) – The Group of Eight leading industrialized nations are showing little enthusiasm for China’s idea of questioning the dollar’s status as the main global reserve currency, a G8 source involved in preparations for next week’s G8 summit said on Friday. More
Silvio Berlusconi has offended nearly every G8 leader
(The Telegraph) Silvio Berlusconi has landed himself in hot water with almost all of the G8 member nations, managing to personally offend the leaders of each country. Read and weep
U.S. Ranked Seven of Eight on Climate Change
The U.S. is ranked seven in the G8 Climate Scorecard, in a recently released study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and global insurance company Allianz SE. The U.S. was ranked behind Canada, and ahead of Russia, a slight improvement from previous years when it ranked last. The study rated the climate performance of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. The countries were rated for the reduction/growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 1990, the percentage of their energy portfolio from renewables, and investment in clean energy technology.
(RCI) In an unprecedented move, Italy has invited 40 nations and organizations to discuss the global economic crisis at the Group of Eight summit next week in the Italian city of L’Aquila. The move is another sign that the G-8 recognizes the growing economic importance of developing countries. For the first time, the G-8 will issue a joint statement on sustainable growth with the emerging nations of the Group of Five—China, India, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. The Group of Eight most-industrialized countries includes Canada.
Merkel: G-8 agreement on warming limit imminent
The G-8 will endorse the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius next week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel predicts. Merkel says the recent U.S. vote on a climate change bill will help forward the process, but pressure still will need to be brought to bear on emerging countries such as China and India to commit. AlertNet.org/Reuters (7/2) 
G8 report card casts doubts on promises
Canada rated third in honouring pledges but more likely to follow through on economy than aid, study finds
Leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations are doing a better job at keeping their promises to fix the world’s financial systems than their commitment to pull Africa out of poverty. The conclusions are included in a scorecard provided by the University of Toronto’s G8 Research Group as G8 leaders prepare to meet in Italy next week. The report evaluates how the various countries have done in meeting a number of commitments laid out at last year’s summit in Japan. … pledges to improve food and agricultural aid to Africa have not been fulfilled to the same extent as promises to deal with global financial issues, energy efficiency and dealing with corruption and climate change.
25-26 June
Meeting of G8 Foreign Ministers
Statement of G8 Foreign Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan
23-25 May
Joint Statement by the G8 Ministers, the European Energy Commissioner and the Energy Ministers of Algeria, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Korea, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey, May 25, 2009

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