Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner next to Abraham Lincoln's visage on Mt. Rushmore today, challenging president Obama to be a leader and not a politician with the words:"America Honors Leaders, Not Politicians. Stop Global Warming"
The protest was in concert with activists in Italy occupying four coal-fired plants to protest what they consider inaction on climate change from the world's richest nations, meeting in Italy on Wednesday for the start of the three-day G8 summit in L'Aquila.
The protests come as word came out that overnight talks of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) had broken down when China and India balked at the proposed emissions reduction target of 50% by mid-century. The target is suggested as part of the draft agreement aimed at striking a deal at the upcoming COP15 climate conference this December in Copenhagen.
China and India are resisting the 50% by 2050 emissions reduction target due to lack of mid-term targets and any promise of financial assistance or technology transfer to aid the developing nations to meet any set targets thus far set forth.
G8 leaders remain optimistic that differences can be ironed in time for the international community to reach an accord in Copenhagen, saying in a joint statement:
We intend to secure our present and future prosperity by taking the lead in the fight against climate change. We call upon other industrialized countries and emerging economies to actively engage, consistently with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”