07/09/2008, 00.00
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G8 summit ends with vague appeal to improve climate

In the document signed by the 16 countries present, there is a "shared vision" of the problem, but few binding consequences. The same for Zimbabwe and the emergencies of hunger, poverty, and food prices.

Toyako (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The G8 summit ended today with a long document on climate problems. In it, the leaders of the developed and non-developed nations present affirm that they have a "shared vision" on climate change, and that "deep cuts" must be made in the emission of greenhouse gases.  These decisions will create conditions to foster "growth, prosperity, and other aspects of sustainable development, including major efforts towards sustainable consumption and production".

The document calls for investment in science, technology, and the economy to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases and reach an agreement among nations on the steps to be taken together by December of 2009, when the UN climate conference will be held in Copenhagen.

The document emphasises the "urgency" of these steps, and calls global warming "one of the great global challenges of our time", but leaves ample room for each country to manage the implementation of the guidelines on its own. Neither China nor India, among the most polluting countries, explicitly agreed to take any steps in this direction.

Also at yesterday's meeting, there was condemnation of the attitude of Robert Mugabe and the painful situation in Zimbabwe, now under a violent dictatorship. But China and Russia have made it clear that they will never support UN sanctions against the African country.

There was also a generic response to the requests of UN secretary Ban Ki-moon, and of many religious leaders - including the pope - to address the emergencies of hunger, disease, and food prices, in a general appeal to bring more aid to poor countries.

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