Issue Date: July 13, 2009
G-8 Leaders Endorse Greenhouse Gas Cuts
Negotiations on a new global climate-change treaty got a political boost last week from the Group of Eight nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. G-8 leaders meeting in Italy agreed that their countries and other industrialized nations should reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 80% or more by 2050. They also said worldwide releases of greenhouse gases by all countries should be at least halved by 2050. The agreement is seen as giving a push forward to ongoing talks to craft a new global climate-change pact, scheduled to be completed in December. The dates and percentages that the G-8 leaders endorsed, especially for industrialized nations, could well end up in the new treaty. In addition, the G-8 leaders committed to taking swift action to control black carbon, an aerosol considered the second-largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide. They also called for reduction in the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs). Many HFCs, which are substitutes for ozone-depleting substances, are potent greenhouse gases.
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