Home / International / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
G8 leaders discuss world economy, climate change
Adjust font size:

Leaders from the Group of Eight (G8) major industrialized countries saw significant risks to the world economy and watered down a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a meeting on Wednesday.

"While there are signs of stabilization, including a recovery of stock markets, a decline in interest rate spreads, improved business and consumer confidence, the situation remains uncertain and significant risks remain to economic and financial stability," the leaders said in a declaration concluding their first-day meeting at a summit in the central Italian town of L'Aquila.

The financial crisis, which started last autumn, has dragged the global economy into a deep recession that the world has never seen since the Second World War, prompting governments to take unprecedented and concerted actions to ensure recovery and repair financial systems.

In face of significant risks, the G8 leaders pledged to take necessary steps, including to adopt further stimulus measures, to restore robust, steady and sustainable development of the world economy.

They also called for appropriate "exit strategies" to unwind the extraordinary policy measures once the recovery is assured.

However, the G8 leaders also agreed that the worst of the crisis is over, and they are preparing to draft a joint system of rules for the global economy, a process that would be continued by the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Pittsburgh, United States, in September.

The leaders from the industrialize countries also addressed climate change during their first day of meeting on Wednesday, committing themselves to limiting global warming to within two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but watered down a target of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

They pledged to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 50 percent by 2050, but didn't specify the baseline year.

"We reiterate our willingness to share with all countries the goal of achieving at least a 50 percent reduction of global emissions by 2050, recognizing that this implies that global emissions need to peak as soon as possible and decline thereafter," they said.

The European Union has been pushing for a reduction by half from the base year of 1990, while the United States wants to use as the reference the emission level of 2005, which is higher than that of 1990.

It had been expected that Washington would make a concession, but the declaration left the issue open.

The leaders also urged emerging economies to "undertake quantifiable actions to collectively reduce emissions significantly below business-as-usual by a specified year," said the declaration.

This global efforts to address climate change will culminate in the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. The L'Aquila meeting is considered key to a new global pact on climate change to replace the current Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, as it is the only G8 summit before the Copenhagen meeting, where the new climate change pact is envisioned.

The G8 leaders also addressed issues such as development and food security during the first two work sessions of the day, reviewing the pledges made at previous summits.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Italy would honor its pledges to the African countries before the year is out.

He said there has to be a change in the methods of giving aid to Africa, introducing "funding that goes to the implementation of specific projects" and "reporting mechanisms," which makes it possible to monitor what has been done and what remains to be done on the continent.

(Xinhua News Agency July 9, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read Bookmark and Share
Pet Name
China Archives
- G8 leaders kick off summit on economic crisis
- Test for the power of G8-plus-5
- G8 summit: What's on the agenda
- G8, G5 leaders to agree to finish Doha talks next year
- G8 summit in new push for global financial reform
- Emerging powers and the future of the G8