No midterm climate goals to come from G8 summit: Japan

June 17th, 2008 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, June 17 (DPA) Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda Tuesday quashed expectations that leaders at July’s Group of Eight (G8) summit would reach agreement on medium-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The G8, which consists of seven of the world’s leading economies and Russia, is “no forum” to decide such an issue, Fukuda said in Tokyo in an interview with the largest news agencies from the G8 countries.

An agreement on midterm emissions cuts was instead the “main challenge” for UN-organized climate talks that are set to wrap up at the end of next year, he said.

Fukuda, however, expressed the expectation that the G8 leaders could set long-term goals for reducing the gases that cause global warming and said the aim was to reach a political agreement that would help to bring about an “effective” treaty that would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States were expected to cement an agreement made last year to halve greenhouse gas emission from 1990 levels by 2050 when they meet July 7-9 in Hokkaido in northern Japan.

But more and more members of the international community and environmental groups see a need to also set midterm targets to help major polluters reach the long-range goal.

“What’s important is that all major economies take part in a responsible way,” Fukuda said in an interview in which DPA took part.

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