Vague commitments by G8 nations on climate change and aid to poor countries
Targets in gas emission reductions are set at 50 per cent by 2050 but only if other great polluters like India and China join in. Vague statements are made on oil and food price hikes. Some US$ 50 billion in aid are pledged for poor countries.
Toyako (AsiaNews/Agencies) – An agreement on climate change, a statement on the state of the world economy, rising oil prices and more money for poor countries are among the outcomes of the second day of the G8 Summit in Japan.

After all-night talks, G8 leaders agreed to set a global target of cutting carbon emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050 in an effort to tackle climate change but each country will set its own “medium term” targets. In practice this means that pollution will be a job for future generations.

Some countries like the United States said that the agreement needs the cooperation of other great polluters like China and India to reduce their own emissions.

Still for Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda the summit achieved a great result, insisting that G8 leaders had a common vision. He also said that he would press China and India to cut their emissions when their leaders join the meeting. Tomorrow in fact G8 leaders will be joined by the leaders of 15 emerging nations (see photo).

Poor countries like Bangladesh called for the creation of a fund to combat climate change in South Asia, which experts believe to be very vulnerable to natural disasters like floods and drought.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other environmental groups said the target date of 2050 was insufficient and the lack of progress “pathetic” since the G8 members are responsible for 62 per cent of the carbon dioxide accumulated in the Earth's atmosphere.

In another statement G8 leaders expressed “strong concern’ over oil prices, which they said posed risks to the world economy.

They also urged oil producers to boost output and refining capacity in the short term, but they did not identify reasons for the current spike in prices or other solutions to contain it.

The leaders made a commitment to raise annual aid levels by US$ 50 billion by 2010 to fight poverty and hunger, half intended for Africa. They also rejected international criticism that past commitments were not met.

They also called on countries with sufficient food stocks to release reserves to others struggling to cope with rising costs and pledged to ensure biofuel policies are compatible with food security.