The summit of the Group of Eight industrial nations – the G8 – being held in Italy has agreed to try limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and also cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the member-nations by 80%.
The goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius was adopted, for the first time, by the United States, Russia, Japan and Canada. This target had already been agreed on in 1996 by the European Union and its G8 member-countries, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.
However, the G8 failed to persuade India and China to join in an effort to halve the world’s emissions of greenhouse-gases by 2050. Developing economies of the world demand that rich nations commit themselves to bigger and short-term reductions in emissions.
Organizations concerned about climate change have said that with just five months left till the new United Nations climate agreement deal due to be signed in Copenhagen, the G8 has not only much more work to do but also has avoided key issues.
A statement issued by the G8 failed to identify a base year for the 80% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, saying that the base year should be “compared to 1990 or more recent years.” This wording leaves the emissions-cut target open to interpretation.