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G8 Hokkaido Summit: developing nations reject deal

Toyako, Japan

The climate vision put forward by G8 leaders here in Toyako, Japan yesterday has recieved widespread criticism for failing to make clear its commitment to cutting greenhouse gases.

Developing nations, led by China and India, rejected the deal outright ahead of today’s major economies meeting where they met with G8 nations to discuss targets for greenhouse gases and the respective efforts that would be required of rich and poor nations, as well as emerging economies.

Despite the inclusion of a goal for 50% cuts by 2050 in the G8 declaration, it’s not at all clear what this alledged target means. If, as suggested by Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, they are intending to cut emissions by 50% of current levels, then that’s not nearly as ambitious as cuts based on a 1990 baseline.

The statement, which seems purposefully vague, also fails to clarify which nations would have to make the deepest cuts in emissions to reach this global target of 50% and whether the target would be legally binding. Responding to the offer, Mexico, Brazil, India, China and South Africa said yesterday that G8 nations should slash their emissions by 80% by 2050 and set firm nearer term targets if they are to agree on a global deal.

As a result, US President Bush’s meeting of major economies made no progress beyond their meeting held June in Seoul.

I’ve reported the full story for Nature News and will provide a link here once it’s online. All for now…it’s getting really late here…

Olive Heffernan

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