G8 ministers urge reduction of carbon emissions

May 26th, 2008 - 2:45 pm ICT by admin  

Tokyo, May 26 (DPA) Environmental ministers from seven of the world’s largest economies and Russia urged their leaders to set a long-term target and halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The ministers closed a three-day meeting in the western Japanese city of Kobe by also urging the Group of Eight (G8) nations to set medium-term reduction targets at their July summit in Tokyo in northern Japan.

Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US should take into consideration the scientific findings of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which called late last year for developed countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020, the Japanese chairman’s summary of the Kobe meeting said.

Participants said the US side attempted until the end of the conference to weaken the closing declaration while the head of the German delegation, Matthias Machnig, called it a “small step in the right direction”.

Machnig, Germany’s deputy environment minister, lauded the host, Japan, for making its position clear for the first time that it found not only long-term but also medium-term targets necessary.

“We don’t have time to lose,” he said. “We need a new impulse for the international negotiations.”

The G8 ministers said industrialised nations “must commit to quantified national emission targets, actively adopting measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while further mitigation actions by developing countries are also necessary”, the summary said.

Participants expressed “strong political will” to surpass the agreement made at last year’s G8 summit in Germany, where the member states agreed to “consider seriously” cutting global emissions by 50 percent, and agree on a long-term global goal at this year’s Tokyo summit, the summary said.

Japan’s proposal to measure carbon dioxide reductions by industry “can be useful tools for setting national reduction targets”, the summary added.

Using energy efficiency in each sector as a yardstick, the approach involves determining potential reduction volumes on an industry-by-industry, area-by-area basis that would then be tallied for a quantified national target. Such areas could include offices, households and transportation.

The ministers agreed to continue discussions among major economies to introduce a new framework after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. Those discussions would include Japan’s proposal for the launch of an international network of institutions to facilitate the transition to low-carbon societies, according to the summary.

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