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G-8
Pact to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
T.R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

Heiligendamm (Germany), June 7
The developed countries reached a broad understanding on the opening day of the G-8 summit to make substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and reach a post Kyoto agreement by 2009, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced here today. She spoke of a consensus that rises in CO2 emissions “first be stopped and then followed by substantial reductions”.

Merkel stuck to her proposals calling for a 50 per cent cut in emissions by 2050 and appears to have overcome strong opposition by the USA and Japan.

Earlier, outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair had what was described as farewell talks with buddy and US President George Bush over breakfast and are believed to have discussed the strained relations with Russia following the American missile defence system in Europe. Bush acknowledged that this was the last meeting he was having with Blair as Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the leaders of the other members of the Outreach 5 scheduled to join the G-8 summit in Heilegendamm tomorrow, discussed their approach on the challenges of climate change.

The developing countries remained firm that the primary polluters of the atmosphere or the developed countries must cough up the money for clearing the environment rather than trying to shift the blame on growing economies like India and China. Measures pertaining to Climate Change have to be necessary dovetailed in the development endeavours of the developing countries.

India has assured its active participation in efforts to meet the challenges of climate change and affirmed its resolve to work closely in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Even as developing countries agreed to adhere to their commitments in tackling climate change, the prime polluters, especially the developed countries, must pay for having created the greenhouse gas emissions in the first instance. The legal instruments apply to developed countries as well which they must implement, was the overbearing view of the developed countries.

The Prime Minister also had a meeting with new Nigerian President Umaru Yar'adua and discussed the commonality and underlined the need to strengthen bilateral relations. Yar'adua assured Dr Manmohan Singh that his government would do everything for the speedy return of Indians abducted in Nigeria so that they were reunited with their families.

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