G-8 Endorses Halving Emissions by 2050

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CBNNews.com - Leaders from the world's super-powers are signing off on what's being called a "50-50 Pledge." The agreement is designed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 50 percent by the year 2050.

The G-8 nations - the United States, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Italy - called on the world's major economies to join in the effort to stem the rise in world temperatures.

"This global challenge can only be met by a global response, in particular, by the contributions from all major economies," the G-8 said in a joint, five-page communique on climate.

President Bush says he would go along with the agreement -- but only if China and India do likewise. India and China are not formally part of this G8 Summit but their leaders, along with ones from other developing nations, have been invited as guests.

Still, environmentalists criticize the 2050 target. They want to see the nations promise to reduce emissions by an earlier date.

"To be meaningful and credible, a long term goal must have a base year, it must be underpinned by ambitious midterm targets and actions," said Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. "As it is expressed in the G8 statement, the long term goal is an empty slogan."

Shorter-term targets have been much more difficult to reach consensus on, since they would require nations to act more quickly.

The United States, for instance, has argued that meeting a Europe-supported goal of reducing emissions by between 25 and 40 percent by 2020 is unrealistic.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the G-8 countries would set individual targets, and he did not mention a range.

"The G-8 will implement aggressive midterm total emission reduction targets on a country by country basis," he said.

The agreement also prompted nations to set high goals for energy efficiency, promote clean energy and technologies, and mobilize financing to help poor nations cut their own emissions and grapple with the effects of warming.

Source: The Associated Press

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