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Climate body urges G8 to set binding mid-term goals for emission reduction
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21:18, July 07, 2008

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A non-governmental campaign on Monday urged the Group of Eight (G8) countries to set a definite mid-term goal for emission cuts of 25 to 40 percent.

The Climate Action Campaign, coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), expressed hope that the G8 club would confirm their commitment to these goals, agreed upon by nations party to the Kyoto Protocol in Bali last December.

At a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing G8 summit here, the campaign said the world's eight richest nations should support the indicative range of 25 to 40 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2020 compared to 1990 levels -- the goal for rich countries stated in the final Bali declaration.

For 2 to 2.4 degrees Celsius warming scenarios, global emission reductions would have to be in the range of 50 percent to 85 percent by 2050 compared to 2000 levels, according to the group's position paper.

The WWF advocates keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, making it necessary for the world to aim for the upper range of 85 percent, it added.

Kim Carstensen, director of global initiative at WWF International, said the year 2008 marked the change of "an iconic picture" as ice could disappear from the North Pole.

Daniel Mittler of Greenpeace International also urged G8 countries, which comprise only 13.5 percent of the world's population but are responsible for 39 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, to confirm the 25 to 40 percent mid-term targets.

Mittler emphasized that the United States should take due responsibility as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

It makes no sense for the United States to continue asking China and India to act first as an excuse for not committing to binding emission reduction goals, as the two developing countries have demonstrated a willingness to engage in dialogue within the UN framework to combat climate change, he added.

Mittler said that he was pessimistic about the outcome of the 2008 G8 summit, saying that their heads of state were "pretending that they care but actually they don't move."

Climate change is expected to be high on the agenda of the G8 summit in the northern Japanese resort of Toyako. G8 countries have basically agreed on the long-term goal of halving emission by 2050 but failed to reach consensus on mid-term binding goals.

Source: Xinhua

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