The G8 summit in the central Italian city of L’Aquila has closed, in what may be the last time the group meets in its present form.
On the final day, leaders pledged 14 billion euros over three years to help developing countries feed themselves – that is four billion more than expected. However, there was disappointment over lack of progress on climate change. That could spell the end of the G8 itself, with host Silvio Berlusconi and US President Barack Obama calling for an expansion of the elite club to meet global challenges. ‘‘We did not reach agreement on every issue and we still have much work ahead on climate change, but these achievements are highly meaningful and will generate significant momentum as we head into the talks at Copenhagen and beyond,’‘ Obama said. Protesters have accused leaders of not doing enough to cut global carbon emissions after failing to persuade developing countries to meet certain targets. Critics have also slammed the G8 for simply being a talking shop and, despite its commitment to increase global food security, many remain sceptical. Aid organisations say some member countries are still way off their 2005 promise to double aid to Africa.