G8 leaders set new emissions target

Friday, July 10, 2009

The leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) countries are meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, from July 8 to July 11. On Wednesday, the group announced that it had agreed to a cut in carbon emissions.

Portrait of the leaders
Image: Office of the Russian President.

The G8 agreed to a target to cut emissions by 80% by 2050, though interim targets were not defined.

"I believe we've made some important strides forward as we move towards Copenhagen," said United States President Barack Obama. "I don't think I have to emphasise that climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. The science is clear and conclusive and the impacts can no longer be ignored."

Obama was referring to the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, scheduled for December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"I hope tomorrow when we meet other countries we'll follow that through and this is a very significant development, the first time it's ever been done," United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

"The commitments expressed today at the G8 and Major Economies Forum (MEF) leaders' meeting, while welcome, are not sufficient,"Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said.

"For us the 80 percent figure is unacceptable and likely unattainable," said Arkady Dvorkovich, the top economic aide to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. "We won't sacrifice economic growth for the sake of emission reduction."


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