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G8 Summit – Good News or Hot Air? July 10, 2009

Posted by letitiahughes in Uncategorized.
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So the G8 summit is here again, and we are back to the same old chestnut of global warming. Has any progress been made this time round? What good news have we had?

Well, the G8 agreed for the first time that it should collectively cut emissions by 80% by 2050, and that the world should be able to cut its emissions by 50% by the same date – The developed economies need to cut their emissions more, to allow developing economies to pollute more as they grow faster. These targets are the minimum necessary to ensure that the rise in global temperatures should not exceed 2 degrees Celsius, the danger level agreed by scientists. But they chickened out of the full deal – they set a fuzzy baseline for the 80% cut ‘of 1990 or more later years’ and acknowledged that baselines must vary but ‘efforts must be comparable’.

What is more, there had been hopes in the run up to the summit that the developing countries would join this agreement but they held out. These countries, led by China, India and Brazil, said they wanted to see more specific targets from the developed nations before they would make any commitments. Delhi will not move on a complete package until there is more money on the table, with developed countries paying the less developed countries to mitigate the effects of global warming, and adapt to them.

And you can see their point. We had hundreds of years, and the industrial revolution to get to this point. But in the end unfortunately is not just about the past, but it is about the future too and a global effort – The poor will suffer most if we can’t agree a global plan.

 British officials argue there is still time to pin out a complete deal before Copenhagen. Brown insisted: “Today we have laid the foundations for a Copenhagen deal that is ambitious, fair and effective. The world has now agreed that the scientific evidence is compelling and the G8 countries have agreed that developed countries will reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.”

 Come on then Copenhagen!

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