10 Jul 2009
The latest G8 meeting is underway from 8-10 July 2009 in Italy. Topping their agenda is the global financial crisis, but environmental NGO, Greenpeace, has sent G8 leaders a strong message about climate change.
Known for their radical activism, Greenpeace took over four coal-powered stations across Italy and unfurled huge banners, which asked, "G8: Climate leaders or losers?"
It is understood that activists from 18 countries were involved in the action.
The G8 hopes to reach agreement on a comprehensive plan for climate change at a conference planned for December. G8 leaders said that global temperatures should not be allowed to increase by more than 2ºC.
The statement runs short on what environmental activists had hoped for. Anant Guruswamy of Greenpeace says that it's not enough to say that we must keep global warming below 2ºC. That's what the science tell us, he says.
Meanwhile other NGOs are concerned that the G8's aid promises will be reduced by the financial crisis.
Talking to Al Jazeera in this clip, Andrew Lovett of Save the Children, says that 400,000 children - additionally - from the poorest parts of the world could die from the economic crisis. In his view, this is something G8 leaders can't simply ignore.
He argues that G8 countries should be motivated by their own long term self interest -- that if they don't invest in Africa and other poor countries, then their own prosperity and security will be at risk.
South Africa is among the "outreach five" of developing nations, which also include India, China, Brazil and Mexico, who joined the G8 on Thursday 9 July 2009, to discuss common areas of concern.