Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Rich nations pledge action on food, oil, but deadlock on climate

by Staff Writers
Toyako, Japan (AFP) July 9, 2008
Leaders of the world's top industrial powers ended a summit Wednesday with pledges to act on soaring oil and food prices, but failed to bridge deep differences with poor nations on fighting climate change.

US President George W. Bush hailed his last Group of Eight summit, at which rich nations agreed to at least halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as "very productive".

"I'm pleased to report that we've had significant success," Bush said before he left the resort venue where the annual summit was held in the mountains of northern Japan.

Emerging nations invited to attend a special summit on tackling global warming however declined to back the G8's much-touted carbon emissions goals, saying they amounted to empty rhetoric.

The global economy, under threat from skyrocketing oil and food prices and also being battered by the subprime mortgage crisis that has infected global financial markets, preoccupied the leaders.

"At the heart of the summit were the triple shocks to the world economy: rising oil prices, rising food prices and the credit crunch," said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The G8 powers -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States -- account for two-thirds of the world's gross domestic product.

Their leaders said in a joint statement that while global growth had "moderated," they remained positive on the future.

They called for efforts to bring down oil prices, which have jumped five-fold since 2003, as well as the soaring cost of food which has set off riots in parts of the developing world.

"There's a need to improve transparency on the oil market," Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told a news conference.

G8 leaders also called on all countries to end export restrictions on food to allow supplies to be sent to countries that most need them, Fukuda said.

The summit was dominated by discussions on global warming amid growing concern that rising temperatures caused by carbon emissions are threatening entire species of plants and animals.

The rich nations' club on Tuesday agreed on the need for a global emissions cut of at least 50 percent by 2050, a step praised by G8 leaders as progress after years of hesitation by Bush.

"This, against a 1990 baseline, is a clear step forward. But we must go further," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

But Fukuda said he believed the baseline was current levels and developing countries slammed the statement as too weak.

Leaders including Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tussled with rich nations at a special expanded summit on Wednesday.

The deadlock between rich and developing nations has held up talks on reaching a new climate treaty by the end of 2009 in Copenhagen -- a goal set in December at a UN-backed conference in Bali.

"Climate change is one of the great global challenges of our time," the 16 leaders said in a statement. "Our nations will continue to work constructively together to promote the success of the Copenhagen climate change conference."

But their statement said only that rich countries would implement their own goals for cutting greenhouse emissions while developing major economies would also take action, without proposing any numbers.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso defended the summit outcome.

"It is quite wrong to see this in terms of a confrontation between developed and developing countries," he said. "Of course we accept the lion's share of responsibility but this is a global challenge which requires a global response."

But the so-called Group of Five -- Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa -- has demanded that rich nations take the lead, saying they were historically responsible for climate change.

"Until there's a change in the decision of the United States, South Africa finds it very difficult for the G5 to move forward," South African Environment Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk told reporters.

Kim Carstensen, head of the WWF environmental group's Global Climate Initiative, accused rich nations of trying to stall action by putting the onus on developing countries.

"Some rich nations get lost in tactics and seem to forget that the survival of people and nature crucially depends on their leadership," he said.

The United States is the only major industrial country to reject the Kyoto Protocol, the current climate change treaty, with Bush arguing that it is unfair as it makes no demands of fast-growing emerging economies.

Leaders also made time to address the crisis in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe won a violence-marred election after his chief rival dropped out.

The summit "made it clear we would impose new sanctions against an illegitimate regime that has blood on its hands," Brown said, rallying world support for UN sanctions on Harare.

Next year's G8 summit will be held on the Italian island of Sardinia where emerging nations will again be invited to join the dialogue.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

How Small Can Crop Management Go
Madison WI (SPX) Jul 09, 2008
The use of on-the-go crop and soil sensors has greatly increased the precision with which farmers can manage their crops. Recently released research in Agronomy Journal questions whether more precise management is necessarily more efficient.

  • Disaster deaths worse so far in 2008 than tsunami year: Munich Re
  • Immune Buildings Designed To Combat Chemical Warfare And Diseases
  • Extended Cyclone Relief Efforts Aided From Space
  • Australia, Japan, US plan disaster relief exercises

  • World ports tackle greenhouse gas emissions
  • 'Serious omission' in G8 summit climate pledge: IPCC chief
  • G8 leaders agree on halving emissions by 2050
  • Analysis: Climate study criticizes G8

  • India And France Joint Working Group Meet To Discuss Space
  • Raytheon Submits Proposal For NOAA Environmental Satellite Ground Segment
  • NASA Mission To Be Crystal Ball Into Future Of Oceans And Past Seas
  • ESA Satellite Assesses Damage Of Norway's Largest Fire

  • Analysis: Mongolian energy prices
  • Analysis: Peru's oil draws Indian interest
  • Oil prices calm as markets mull Iran missile test
  • AES Expands Its Wind Platform In China

  • Pandemic Mutations In Bird Flu Revealed
  • Researchers Identify Potential Drug Candidates To Combat Bird Flu
  • Anti-retroviral drug cocktails slash AIDS deaths: study
  • China seals off quake town over epidemic fears: report

  • Species Diversity Less Dramatic Than Believed
  • Instances Of Mass Die-Offs In Wild Lions Precipitated By Extreme Climate Change
  • Tigers Disappear From Himalayan Refuge
  • Human Influences Challenge Penguin Populations

  • Improving Swine Waste Fertilizer
  • Pesticides Persist In Ground Water
  • Only fraction of people recycle old mobile phones: study
  • Italy's Berlusconi vows to clean up Naples by mid-July

  • Will Our Future Brains Be Smaller
  • Do We Think That Machines Can Think
  • A Microsatellite-Guided Insight Into The Genetic Status Of The Adi Tribe
  • New Map IDs The Core Of The Human Brain

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement