This content is not available in your region

G8 leaders agree big greenhouse gas cuts

G8 leaders agree big greenhouse gas cuts
Text size Aa Aa

World leaders at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm have agreed to pursue substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

But they could not agree on specifying a target for the reductions – something which had been opposed by the United States.

The host of the summit, Angela Merkel, had wanted commitments from member countries to cut emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.

Because America said it was too soon to quantify the reductions needed, the resulting accord talked of the resolute and concerted international action that was needed on climate change.

A compromise perhaps, but definitely an agreement.

In her statement, Chancellor Merkel did though, refer to the goal of some countries to pursue the 50 per cent cut.

“We have succeeded,” she said, “we have managed to agree that we all need obligatory reduction goals. We all said that what Japan, Canada and the EU established here, will be to seriously consider that emissions be cut at least by half by 2050.”

The most serious commitment from the world’s leading global warming polluter – America – was an agreement to first stem the rise in global warming gases, followed by substantial reductions.

But Merkel did have one partial success.

The text included an agreement that global temperatures must not rise more than 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.