Environment ministers from the Group of Eight nations, pledged “strong political will” toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 but stopped short of pledging firm commitments for mid-century or mid-term goals for 2020, which many countries argue are crucial to saving the planet from environmental crisis, The AP reports.
Divisions between Germany and the U.S. were evident during a news conference. Germany’s delegate Matthias Machnig turned to the U.S.’s Scott Fulton several times while describing Germany’s commitment to cutting gases by 40 percent by 2020.
With the emissions trading scheme, by far the largest multinational emissions trading operation in the world, the European Union has pledged a 20-percent emissions reduction by 2020, and has offered to raise it to 30 percent if other nations sign on.
Although Point Carbon estimated Europe’s emissions actually rose by 1.1 percent last year, and the EU’s allocation caused the price of carbon to drop to almost nothing in the first phase, others still are looking to the ETS as a model of how to achieve carbon reductions at the lowest cost, BusinessWeek reports.
The G8 also declared that developed nations should take the lead in battling global warming.
A report published by British economist and academic Lord Nicholas Stern earlier this month analyzes the implications of the June 2007 G8 commitment to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.
CEOs of 19 of the world’s largest corporations have called on G8 leaders to address the global crisis in water and sanitation during the July Toyako Summit.