G8 Urges Economic Stability Measures, Fails to Pass Climate Bill

Today in L’Aquila, Italy, the Group of 8 (G8) Summit failed to pass unanimously a climate bill which would have mandated halving of global CO2 emissions by 2050 as part of the Group’s larger economic-stabilization plan. The Group – consisting of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Canada, and Russia – believed passage of the bill would likely have broken the deadlock over sharing of the burden of cutting greenhouse gasses. The bill’s passage also would have laid the groundwork for an expected future U.N. climate pact in Copenhagen in December.

The Group encountered resistance to the bill primarily from leaders of India and China, who– like many developing countries–desired more financial support from richer countries before agreeing to the emissions goal.
In compromise, the Group agreed to cut emissions by 80 percent and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The Group also supported creation of a global carbon trading market and rich nation-sponsored carbon-reduction technology– although its plans for creating such a system were vague.
Thursday, the Group is to meet with the Major Economies Forum (MEF) to further discuss the bill along with broader economic and environmental concerns. The MEF includes the G8 countries and other, less developed ones. MEF approval of the bill is a prerequisite for passage in the upcoming December U.N. climate conference.

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.