19 February 2007

Global Climate Change: Industrialize Nations Agree on CO2 Reductions

Olive Heffernan reports on news@nature.com that "legislators from the world's wealthiest industrialized nations and from major developing countries have signed a non-binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions."

The announcement was made at the close of a two-day summit in Washington DC, organized by the Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), a climate-change forum for the G8 and the major emerging economies. The summit participants also agreed on the importance of setting maximum acceptable limits for atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

"The closing statement said," according to Heffernan, "that the goal should be to stabilize concentrations at between 450 and 550 parts per million of CO2 equivalent. At present CO2 levels are around 380 parts per million."

In a bid to influence the follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2012, delegates from the G8 industrialized nations and five major emerging economies approved a proposal to establish a global 'cap and trade' market to limit carbon emissions.

The agreement proposes international caps for greenhouse-gas emissions, with both industrialized and developing countries accepting limits on emissions: under the Kyoto agreement, only developed nations are forced to do this. Countries that have signed up to Kyoto can reduce their emissions figures by participating in markets such as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

The new agreement will be presented for consideration to the next G8 summit, where member nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — will once again discuss the issue of how to tackle climate change.

Read the full article: CO2 + G8

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