Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has been preparing the ground on climate change ahead of the G8 summit. With global warming expected to be a contentious issue she has been spearheading an EU initiative to get Japan on side. The result is a joint call for a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.
Merkel is keen to present a united front at the talks especially when confronting a US reluctant to back even the limited target cuts set out in the Kyoto agreement. Merkel said: “The United States did not ratify it; Canada has declared they will not be able to make it. And we can not go on this way after 2012. With our different partners we try to find as many common points as possible and with Japan we took a good step forward”.
Japan has previously criticised European plans for setting targets without first getting many of the major emitters on board. This more long term goal calls for developing countries to make a fair contribution to the effort, but it will still need to get countries such as China and India to agree.