Thursday, July 10, 2008

G8 sets a target of 50% reduction of Green House Gases by 2050


World's richest nations say they will aim to set a global target of cutting carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2050 in an effort to tackle global warming. It strengthens last year's G8 pledge to "seriously consider" the cuts.

But the US has refused to set any interim targets for cutting emissions - and environmentalists have criticised the progress at talks as "pathetic".

Five of the world's biggest emerging economies said the G8 should increase its targets to more than 80% by 2050.

China, India, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa - who will join talks on Wednesday - also urged developed countries to commit to an interim target of a 25-40% cut below 1990 levels by 2020.

Progress
Climate change has been one of the stickiest issues tackled at the summit in Japan, with divisions over what targets should be set and what would be expected of developing countries.

It leaves many ends untied - including the failure to specify a baseline date. The EU wanted the G8 to confirm that the 50% cut would be measured from 1990 levels of CO2 - as agreed under the Kyoto climate protocol. But when the question was raised in a press conference Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the cuts would be measured from "current levels".

No guarantees
The G8 statement repeats last year's "vision" to reach the target of cutting emissions by at least 50% by 2050 - but this time adds that the effort must be global. It also acknowledges that to make progress, G8 countries have to take the lead through ambitious interim goals and national plans.

The meeting is taking place in Toyako, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Leaders from the G8 nations - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States - are being joined by counterparts from some 15 other countries.



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