Prospects dim for G8 climate change deal
Prospects that the G8 would reach a meaningful agreement to how best to fight global warming at their annual summit dimmed on Sunday as leaders began arriving in northern Japan with a raft of global problems on their minds, Reuters reported.
Climate change is high on the agenda of the July 7-9 summit of rich nations at a luxury hotel in Toyako, Hokkaido, and of a Major Economies Meeting on July 9 that brings the G8 together with eight other countries including China, India and Brazil.
Global inflation driven by soaring food and fuel prices and African poverty will also be discussed, along with issues as wide-ranging as Zimbabwe's election crisis and North Korea's nuclear programme.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who arrived in Hokkaido needing a successful summit to bolster limp ratings, wants to add to momentum for U.N.-led talks on a new framework beyond limits agreed under the Kyoto Protocol, which expire in 2012.
Those negotiations are due to conclude in Copenhagen in December next year.
But wide gaps among Group of Eight members and between advanced and developing countries have raised doubts about the chances for progress beyond last year's summit in Germany, where G8 leaders agreed to "seriously consider" a global goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
"I don't think we're expecting a deal. That will come under the United Nations' auspices in Copenhagen next year," Canada Environment Minister John Baird told reporters en route to Japan.
"What we hope is that we can get some momentum toward a solid progress on climate change."
The G8 comprises Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Canada and the United States.