Efforts to combat global warming will be at the top of the list of issues the political leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations will discuss later this week at their annual summit. This is a welcome development not least because President Bush needs to be pushed (and pushed hard) by the other members of the G8 to confront the facts about climate change and the dire need to do a lot of things about it. Yet the leaders of the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Canada, and Russia will do themselves and the planet no favors if they do not link the discussions about climate change with the need to boost the energy security of developed and developing nations.
These links were made clear in the report titled Energy Security in the 21st Century, which was published last summer by the National Security Task Force on Energy—a diverse group of politicians, policy experts, and academics that includes John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner, and former Congressman Tom Downey. In the report the authors detail why it is so dangerous for the global economy to rely on oil coming from the most dangerous places in the world in order to produce energy that is dangerously heating up our planet.
The G8 would do well to consider the concrete steps presented in the report to:
- Reduce dependence on foreign oil and natural gas
- Confront the threat posed by climate change
- Increase the viability of nuclear energy by eliminating key proliferation threats posed by nuclear energy technologies
- Protect and modernize global energy infrastructure and distribution channels
- Build a cooperative energy security environment with traditional allies and partners.
The Bush administration has demonstrated a willingness to acknowledge the existence of these energy security challenges but has failed to implement a plan to meet them. At the G8 meetings this week, other leaders of industrialized democracies should urge the United States to display the global leadership necessary to make these key recommendations a reality.
To read the full report, see:
For video footage and other resources from the event, see: