Monday, June 11, 2007

Beyond the usual G8 headlines...

Most newspapers around the world have covered the G8 summit which was held last week in Germany, and the agreement on climate change. Most of the articles, though, have not been very interesting, partly reflecting the fact that the G8 is not really a crucial decision making body for climate change and its statements are often very vague. However, I think this article from the UK's Independent is perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of the event I've seen on the mainstream press so far. It highlights that beyond the vague wording of the final statement this agreement does represent a step forward.

The anecdote it tells in the opening paragraphs is also pretty interesting:

"Believing - like British ministers at the time - that the right-wing former East German would be far less interested in the environment than the red-green government she had toppled - he patronisingly suggested that they could forget the Kyoto protocol.

"Mr President, you are mistaken," Mrs Merkel announced, drawing herself up to her full 5ft 8in. "I am one of those responsible for the protocol." And she told him how, as her country's environment minister, she had chaired the meeting that had made the crucial breakthrough on the road to Kyoto, and then led its negotiating team when the treaty was agreed.

Over the past six months, the increasingly embattled President has had plenty of opportunity to remember his faux pas."