Ahead of G8, World Climate Ministers Scramble to Find Consensus

by | Jul 6, 2009

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globe2Climate talks in a special July 9 session of the Major Economies Forum are intended to forge a consensus before the conclusion of the G8 summit July 8-10 in Italy.

Increasingly, there is worry that the world will not be able to reach common ground before official climate talks this December in Copenhagen. An Indian climate official predicted that nation’s would not adopt a substantive document at the session, Reuters India reports. Rather, a “meaningless” proclamation or joint declaration would be the result.

The July 9 talks will center around the same Major Economies Forum climate change draft that called for 50 percent cuts in global emissions by 2050 but was tabled without any sort of agreement at talks in Mexico in late June, according to Reuters. Perhaps the most contentious aspect was the call for developed economies to slash emissions 80 percent by then.

Among other aspects, nations also are unable to agree on which year to use for baseline emissions. The draft does not include specific midterm targets for rich nations by 2020.

The Major Economies Forum, which includes 17 nations representing 80 percent of world emissions, was spearheaded by President Barack Obama to bring rich and developing nations together in advance of the upcoming U.N. climate treaty.

There has been a seemingly endless stream of “pre-meetings” as nations try to gain some understanding of their peers’ bargaining positions on climate and emissions.

More than 500 leading executives gathered May 24-26 at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, a meeting designed to gather input from the business world in advance of the official talks later this year. That meeting resulted in what is being referred to as “the Copenhagen Call,” a list of six initiatives that the business sector wants addressed by the December talks.

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