Hoodwinked in the Hothouse

04 July 2005
Carbon Trade Watch
TNI Press Release, 4 July 2005

A report released today by the climate change research group, Carbon Trade Watch, reveals the reality behind G8 climate rhetoric. Through detailed country-by-country analysis of energy policy, emissions levels, and relevant data, the report Hoodwinked in the Hothouse. The G8, Climate Change and Free Market Environmentalism reveals that the world’s most industrialised countries are merely continuing with business-as-usual.

The study also casts doubt on the UK Department of Environment's claims that the G8 summit will be "carbon neutral".

"The attempt to 'offset' the emissions of the summit is emblematic of the G8 nations' attempt to 'offset' their responsibility to take action in the face of the climate crisis", says co-author Kevin Smith, "green stewardship begins at home".

The report also finds that:

  • The G8 nations continue to subsidise climate-damaging fossil fuels, while under-funding renewable energy in some cases by a factor of 25 to 1.
  • G8 promotion of controversial "market-based" schemes such as emissions trading will come under pressure from the increasing drive towards liberalisation of trade and investment thereby undermining their environmental integrity.
  • G8 governments continue to undermine existing environmental legislation through deregulation, replacing laws with voluntary action and self-reporting from polluters.
  • Controversial government experiments with environmental policy-making are not restricted to climate change. Markets are now in operation or being developed for oil pollution, mercury emissions, landfill, endangered species, wetlands banking and more.

The authors conclude that "all these factors and more represent serious obstacles towards achieving environmental objectives".

For more information and interviews, contact Kevin Smith on +44 (0)7906 312951.

The briefing "Hoodwinked in the Hothouse. The G8, Climate Change and Free Market Environmentalism" is downloadable from TNI's website.

Carbon Trade Watch is a project of the Transnational Institute (TNI) and aims to provide a durable body of research based on a holistic and justice-based analysis of climate change and climate policy. Founded in 1974, TNI is an international network of activist-scholars committed to critical analyses of the global problems of today and tomorrow, with a view to providing intellectual support to those movements concerned to steer the world in a democratic, equitable and environmentally sustainable direction.