G8 leaders agree to halve emissions by 2050

July 8th, 2008 - 3:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Toyako (Japan), July 8 (Xinhua) Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialized countries Tuesday agreed on a long-term target of halving their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “A new, shared vision by the major economies on the climate challenge within the UNFCCC framework has emerged from the G8 in Toyako,” European Union (EU) Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement shortly after the G8 working session in this resort city of northern Japan.

The United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) was signed by 154 nations at the UN summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 as a framework for the world body to work on the climate change issue. Since then, 189 countries including the US have ratified the convention.

The leaders of the eight countries - the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan are currently in Toyako holding a three-day summit meeting with issues like climate change, global economic recession and security high on the agenda. The summit will conclude Wednesday.

“We have also agreed that we should set up mid-term targets, as the EU is already establishing for 2020,” said Barroso, who was present at the working session of G8 summit.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations have agreed to push for making the G8 emissions level as a global target.

Barroso said he was happy about the results of the summit as “the European Union benchmark for success at the summit has been achieved” and that it sent “a strong signal to citizens around the world.”

“We remain on track to reach a global climate deal in Copenhagen in 2009,” he added, referring to the next major international conference on climate change expected in the Danish capital late next year.

The G8 has yet to set a target for the mid-term reduction of greenhouse gases emission by 2020.

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