G-8 does little for Climate Change

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Even as the G 8 summit concluded, the high power meet did little for Climate Change as a declaration avoiding any concrete steps or targets to fight global warming was approved in submission to U.S. pressure. The impasse over the 1997 Kyoto Protocol still remained unaltered solely influenced by America’s stand, while other nations ratified the same. In a last ditch effort, Blair however managed to convince the members to meet again in November alongside 5 members of the emerging economies.

Prime Minister Tony Blair’s promise of a consensus on steps to reduce pollutants responsible for global warming, were to no avail as America questioned the practicability of the protocol when large developing nations like China and India were exempt from it. America was also firm in vetoing the Protocol for its likely debilitating effect on the U.S. economy. Blair, keen on a headway, however got the G 8 into agreeing to meet in November alongside countries such as China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa, for a new round of talks. Earlier these five countries issued a joint statement endorsing the Kyoto Protocol, urging countries such as the United States to “take the lead in international action to combat climate change by fully implementing their obligations of reducing emissions”. Blair said the agreement to meet in November was indicative that there is “a firm consensus” by members on the urgency of the problem.

While members like the French leader Jacques Chirac, opined that the meet had achieved substantial results, environmental groups feel that the meet compromised on its very purpose. Philip Clapp, of the National Environmental Trust said, “The G-8 leaders did not agree on a single concrete action to address climate change”. The Greenpeace believes that the meeting served to highlight that the world is divided “between President Bush and the rest of the world” on a common priority. Blair however said, “I’m not overselling this. What we haven’t done is renegotiate a different treaty or set a new set of targets. What we have done, however, is to establish a pathway back to an international consensus”. The end result of the G 8 summit was to recognize the need to involve other emerging economies in order to plug holes in America’s stance besides mounting pressure on arriving at a common solution to what is a worldwide problem.