R744.com’s latest feature offers you the key to follow climate policy worldwide, including new plans by Japan, India, Germany and the UK. Starring today: G-8 leaders support plans to halve global emission by 2050.
The Group of Eight leading industrial nations will back a worldwide reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by mid-century, political leaders from Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, the UK and the United States agreed.
However, head of states have not yet lived up to expectations that progress on a global climate change deal would be the main focus of their talks in Toyako, northern Japan. While they reconfirmed the 50% target by 2050, first tabled at last years G-8 meeting in Germany, they stopped short of talking about tough short-term goals to fill the global deal with life. On the contrary, a clear commitment by industrial nations to take the lead in fighting climate change many had hoped for, was not issued. The United States did not soften its stance that all major economies, including China and India, should participate in reducing emissions. Calling an EU-supported target of 25-40 percent reduction by 2020 unrealistic, the U.S. position suggested that there will be no progress under the current Bush administration. Japan, having set an own national target to cut GHG emissions between 60 and 80% by 2050, has not committed to any midterm goal either. So far, the summit has not delivered on any concrete results on climate policy that could create momentum for international U.N. talks in Copenhagen, end-2009.
A draft report obtained by the Canadian press confirmed that no major progress would be made in Toyako. The document seeks to defer any agreement on specific emissions targets until the Copenhagen meeting next year. This document is expected to form the basis for a joint statement to be issued later this week by the G-8 nations and emerging economies, the latter joining the conference on Wednesday.
Clear signals needed now
As a consequence, the vague support for halving emissions by mid-century drew criticism from environmental groups and international organizations. While some environmentalists attacked the statement for failing to go beyond last year’s G-8 meeting, others criticized the lack of clear midterm targets. Rajendra Pachauri, chairmain of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), urged all leaders to create momentum now in an collective effort and affirm reductions agreed at a Bali conference last December.
100 CEOs call for more results-driven climate plans
Meanwhile, the CEOs of 100 leading companies from different sectors and world regions called in a joint statement on the G8 leaders to take a more pragmatic and results-oriented approach of tackling global warming. Only clear political frameworks, predictable incentives and a strong partnership between business, non-governmental organizations and policymakers would ensure progress. The group, representing 12% of all publicly-traded firms in the world, also urged governments to set a long-term goal by 2050 and, for the sake of credibility, a realistic intermediate milestone in the range of 14-35% in GHG reductions by 2030.
Background - What does this mean for CO2 Technology?
The current discussions in Japan make clear that, despite public support for international targets, many countries have not yet moved to offer concrete solutions on how to achieve them. The battle against climate change appears to be fought at different authority levels at the same time. While states like California oppose federal authorities with tough individual GHG laws, European Union Member States currently debate the most equitable way to achieve world-leading GHG reduction goals.
Further development of CO2-based solution, as an example for sustainable cooling and heating, can be boosted by strong international frameworks. Progress at G8 meetings or UN level can be key for a widespread use of efficient technology and the phase-out of chemicals, making progress at national level more feasible.