The G8 summit is coming in a month. Global Climate change is expected to be one of the central issues discussed. In anticipation of the summit, the Science Academies of many of the leading industrialized nations issued a joint statement yesterday (June 7) urging the leaders of their countries to make a commitment to immediately begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Scientist Online is calling the statement “unprecedented.”

Signatories of the statement include Britain’s Royal Society and the national science academies of France, Russia, Germany, the United States, Japan, Italy, Canada, Brazil, China, and India.

The statement urges the G8 nations to find cost-effective steps that can be taken immediately toward substantial and long-term reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. No doubt the Kyoto hold-out U.S. is the main target of this statement.

More across the jump…
from The Scientist Online

“It is clear that world leaders, including the G8, can no longer use uncertainty about aspects of climate change as an excuse for not taking urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” said Robert May, president of the Royal Society, in a statement. “The scientific evidence forcefully points to a need for a truly international effort. Make no mistake, we have to act now. And the longer we procrastinate, the more difficult the task of tackling climate change becomes.”

May said that the current US policy on climate change was misguided. “The Bush administration has consistently refused to accept the advice of the US National Academy of Sciences [NAS]… Getting the US onboard is critical because of the sheer amount of greenhouse gas emissions they are responsible for.”

Right… BushCo and science are like oil and water.

The United States isn’t the only target of the academies’ statement, however. “The problem with the UK, of course, is that it’s all very well saying that it is an important issue, but you’ve got to make the difficult political decisions to back that up,” said Ward.

“We don’t want to hear any more statements from G8 leaders to the effect that we don’t know enough about the science to be certain,” Royal Society spokesman Bob Ward told The Scientist. “We want all the leaders to accept that we do know enough about the science to take action on climate change.”

We’ve known enough for 10 years or more. This comes on the heals of the revelation that a BushCo aid altered greenhouse emissions reports (LINK).

In part, the statement says

We urge all nations, in the line with the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] principles, to take prompt action to reduce the causes of climate change, adapt to its impacts, and ensure that the issue is included in all relevant national and international strategies. As national science academies, we commit to working with governments to help develop and implement the national and international response to the challenge of climate change.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth finds fault with the statement in that it doesn’t include any targets or a timetable. Friends of the Earth believes dramatic emissions reductions must be made in the next decade or we face “catastrophic climate change.”

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