A major, major step forward

These are the words of British Premier Tony Blair on what was achieved concerning climate change at the G8. Indeed, the leaders of the G8 agreed on halving greenhouse gases emissions by 2050.

According to these articles (by the International Herald Tribune and Le Figaro), the world leaders agreed on reducing by a factor two the global emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases.

Meanwhile, US President Bush added his country would “seriously consider” this goal (Source The New York Times). The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had insisted largely during this G8 session that the United States have to commit themselves on fighting global warming.

The declaration done by President Bush is an important victory for them and President Sarkozy said the advance on the discussions on climate were “quite significant” (Source Le Figaro)

Here is a quote of the IHT article “Merkel says G-8 agrees on emissions cuts” :

“There isn’t going to be an agreement until there’s an agreement that has America and China in it,” he said. “However, there is now a process to lead to that agreement and at its heart is a commitment to a substantial cut.

“What does substantial mean? That serious consideration is given to the halving of emissions by 2050.” Still, Blair called the deal “a major, major step forward.”

The statement also does not commit to Merkel’s target under which global temperatures would be allowed to increase by no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) before being brought back down.

A report in May from a United Nations network of more than 2,000 scientists estimated that the world must stabilize the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere within eight years to keep global temperatures from spiking to disastrous levels.

Experts have said that would require a global reduction in emissions of 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

All this is indeed good news as not so long ago President Bush simply didn’t want to commit his country to decrease greenhouse gases emissions. All eight countries are willing to prepare the future climate protocol, which will begin in 2012.

The after Kyoto discussions, which will be held in December, are beginning well, and the latest developments witnessed today are quite encouraging.

Sources :

  • International Herald Tribune :

Merkel says G-8 agrees on emissions cuts
G-8 trumpets victory on climate accord 

  • New York Times

Europe and US reach climate deal

  • Le Figaro :

Sarkozy a abordé “tous les sujets” avec Poutine
Les “Huit” trouvent un compromis a minima sur le climat

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