G8 plans 50% reduction in greenhouse gases
Tuesday 08 July 2008
G8 nations, papering over deep differences, said today they would work toward a target of at least halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 but emphasised they would not be able to do it alone.
In a communique released during a summit in northern Japan, the Group of Eight leaders agreed that they would need to set interim goals on the way to a "shared vision" for 2050 although it gave no numerical targets.
Mention of mid-term goals was an advance from last year when the G8 agreed only to "seriously consider" a goal of halving emissions by mid-century.
But calling on countries involved in UN negotiations on climate change to also "consider and adopt" the 2050 goal satisfies the United States, which has said it cannot agree to binding targets unless big polluters such as China and India rein in their emissions too.
Dan Price, assistant to the president for international economic affairs, described the G8 declaration on climate change as "an excellent discussion, and an excellent declaration" and he said that "significant progress" was made.
Price said the statement reflected that "the G8 alone cannot effectively address climate change, cannot effectively achieve this goal, but that contributions from all major economies are required".
Critics outside the rich nations' club slammed the deal. Environmental campaign group WWF said the leaders had ducked their responsibilities.
"The G8 are responsible for 62 per cent of the carbon dioxide accumulated in the Earth's atmosphere, which makes them the main culprit of climate change and the biggest part of the problem," WWF said shortly after the statement was issued.
"WWF finds it pathetic that they still duck their historic responsibility," the campaign group said in a statement.
The European Union and Japan had been pressing for this year's summit to go beyond just "considering" the 2050 goal, and Brussels had wanted clear interim targets as well.
South African Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said he feared this year's communique was a step backward.
"While the statement may appear as a movement forward, we are concerned that it may, in effect, be a regression from what is required to make a meaningful contribution to meeting the challenges of climate change," van Schalkwyk said.
The UN-led talks aim to create a new framework for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 and are set to conclude in Copenhagen in December 2009.
The G8 comprises Japan, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and the United States.
Drug-resistant bacteria: Sewage-treatment plants described as giant 'mixing vessels' after scientists discover mutated microbes in British river
Big Butterfly Count: Members of British public turn scientists as survey gets under way
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Wisborough Green becomes the first village in Britain to fight off fracking
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she "lied" to husband about failed drugs tests
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...
£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A unique and rare opport...