HEILIGENDAMM, Germany - The world's eight leading industrialized nations - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States - have agreed to set a global goal for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. During the annual summit for the Group of Eight (G8) in Germany, the leaders committed to taking "strong and early action to tackle climate change in order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-caused) interference with the climate system." The leaders will also "consider seriously" the commitment by the European Union, Canada, and Japan to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.

The G8 agreement calls on all parties to actively and constructively participate in the United Nations' Climate Change Conference in Indonesia in December to develop a comprehensive agreement that includes all major greenhouse gas emitters and would take effect after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires. It also calls for all major emitters to agree on a new global framework for greenhouse gas reductions by the end of 2008, which would lead to a global agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 2009. The plan was welcomed by the executive secretary of the UNFCCC and was endorsed by the Group of Five countries with emerging economies - Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa.

The agreement acknowledges the important role of clean energy technologies in achieving greenhouse gas reductions and endorses the use of market mechanisms to encourage the development and deployment of these technologies. It also includes an extensive list of international efforts to promote energy efficiency, including the establishment of a "Sustainable Buildings Network" and efforts to encourage energy efficiency in industry, power generation, and transportation.

Publication date:06/18/2007