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G8 Summit Take Wrong Tack on Sustainable Energy According to Global Youth Coalition

As common as it is to encounter the view that the youth of today simply does not care about politics, the environment or in fact anything other than MTV, it would appear that this is unfounded.

A global coalition of youth movements ““ entitled People and Planet, which in the UK represents members from more than 70% of the universities and 10% of the sixth forms ““ has reacted strongly to the leaked draft document on energy policy that appears to indicate that the leading nations of the planet are committed to the current energy policy. Given the announcement today of the Government’s intention to build further nuclear power stations, this criticism of the G8’s anticipated position could strike a chord with a broad section of the public.

Action Action

The leaked document that is available through the People and Planet website would appear to represent a changing of directions for the G8 group who last year issued a statement on climate change. This statement, entitled the Communique on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development, indicated the willingness of the eight leading economic powers to pursue a more environmentally conscious renewable energy policy whilst investigating means to slow down the growth in demand.

The leaked document, according to the information provided by People and Planet, states that there is to be an investment of some $17 trillion in the infrastructure for pursuing energy policies focussing on fossil fuels and nuclear energy. The coalition argue that this is a short sighted approach, saying that this will “lock the world into a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions that can only lead to dangerous and irreversible global climate change.”

Decisions for the Future

Speaking about the widespread opposition to the proposed multi trillion dollar increase in non renewable energy source funding, Bronwen Thomas, a Climate Change Campaigner, highlighted the long term implications, saying: “Decisions made by the G8 now will determine energy options for decades to come, and significantly affect our ability to respond to climate change. The G8 should be leading the way with massive investments in renewable energy, programmes to reduce energy consumption and an end to taxpayer support for the climate changing fossil fuel industry.”

In September this year a campaign will be launched to tackle the issue of so ““ called “dirty development”, attacking the support offered in aid programmes to unsustainable development initiatives. Bronwen returned to the theme of the future impact, saying: “The people who will be most affected by the G8s lack of leadership are youth. We are asking that the G8 listen to the youth and the world’s best scientific council, and not sell out our future.”

Whether or not this will be heeded by the people in a position of power remains to be seen. However, it is heartening to know that ““ possibly through education and awareness – the generation that will have to deal with some of the worst side effects of previous decades is aware that for things to improve, they must take the responsibility for those that will follow them that previous generations have failed to do.

Jethro Marsh

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