::


:: PoliticsWatch Archives

> PoliticsWatch Frontpage


:: Inside PoliticsWatch

> Contact PoliticsWatch


:: PoliticsWatch News

Harper attends second G8 summit 

[PoliticsWatch updated 5:00 p.m. June 7, 2007]

Prime Minister Stephen Harper spends this week in Europe where he'll attend his second G8 Summit in Germany. 

OTTAWA  — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be out of the country all this week as he spends five days in Europe for the G8 Summit. 
  
The agendas of the last two G8 summits were derailed after the subway bombing in London in 2005 and the war between Israel and Hezbollah last year. 

Senior government officials told reporters last week that the two major themes scheduled to dominate this year's summit in Heiligendamm, Germany will be the issues surrounding climate change and Africa, including the situation in Darfur.  

No doubt climate change will be the issue that will attract the most media attention. 

On Monday, Harper tried to get Canada's message out ahead of the summit during a speech to a German-Canadian business group in Berlin. 

While Canada has admitted it will not meet its 2012 Kyoto targets, the prime minister's speech sent the message that Canada was still committed to long-term reductions, like other European members of the G8. 

Harper, who the opposition Liberals have often called a "climate-change denier," told the business audience that climate change was "perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today."

"The countries that did accept targets under Kyoto account for less than 30 per cent of global emissions," he said. "The outsiders included major, growing emitters like China, India and the United States. Obviously, if we really want to stop climate change, all the big emitters need to step up to the plate and must accept real targets."

That will be the prime minister's message at this year's summit on climate change, in addition to his reminder that other countries must recognized Canada's special and unique position as an energy super power with a growing economy. 

"Our environment plan is new," Sandra Buckler, the prime minister's director of communications, told reporters last week. "It's a Canadian initiative and we'll be bringing it to the summit."

"We have our plan. We don't have the German plan, we don't have the American plan. We have the Canadian plan."

Canada is putting such an emphasis on climate change at this year's summit that Environment Minister John Baird is the only cabinet minister who is accompanying the PM for the week. 

Although it's not on the official agenda, a senior government official told reporters last week that Canada plans to raise the issue of Afghanistan at the summit during "broader discussions" with other world leaders. 

In particular, Canada is looking for international help to improve economic relations and border issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan

"For Canada we will be looking to have a meaningful discussion on Afghanistan,"  the official said. "Getting beyond regional tensions, getting to a more productive dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan." 

Also expected to be discussed in these broader discussions will be counter-terrorism, dismantling the former Soviet Union's nuclear stockpile Iran, the Middle East and North Korea

In addition to the G8 countries -- U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan -- leaders from five other emerging powers -- China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa -- will also take part in the second day of the summit.  

Harper also participated in the Canada-EU Summit in Berlin on Monday and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  

On Tuesday, Harper will make a quick trip to France for his first face-to-face meeting with newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy. 
 
Although the two men have never met, senior government officials said they already have a "warm and cordial relationship" based on phone conversations. 

The G8 Summit begins Wednesday with an informal leaders' dinner and continues through Thursday and Friday. 

: Related Links

> G8 Summit 2007 Heiligendamm

© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.

> More Recent PoliticsWatch News...







:: Got a News Tip?

Call the PoliticsWatch
tip-line at 613.232.0516
or
e-mail

 

PoliticsWatch Home  |  News Services  Voter Resources  |  Research Base

© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, 
including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of 
Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.
PoliticsWatch® | Canada's Political Portal™
85 Albert Street, Suite 1502, Ottawa ON K1P 6A4 |  phone: 613.232.0516
news@politicswatch.com  |  Terms of Service, Copyright, Trademarks, and Disclaimers Statement