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G8 Agrees To Reach Global Warming Agreement

World Leaders will pursue unspecified cuts in greenhouse gases and work with the U.N. to clinch a new deal to fight global warming by 2009, The Washington Post reports.

But the agreement does not commit G8 members to the firm emissions reduction targets that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, had wanted.

The G8 agreed that “resolute and concerted international action” was urgently needed, vowing to stem a rise in greenhouse gases, followed by “substantial” reductions.

Under the deal, new climate proposals unveiled by Bush last week would be integrated into the established U.N. process – a key demand of European countries.

Bush did agree to have the U.S. take a lead role in climate-change talks within a UN framework, according to a Newsday editorial. The goal will be to craft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, which expires next year. Perhaps the main achievement at the summit was to bring the United States into the wider UN-brokered process.

Environmentaliats were unimpressed, Buzzle reports.

“We have already seen many empty promises by G8 leaders over the past years but there has not been much real action,” said Yuri Onodera of Friends of the Earth, “so we urge G8 leaders to act now and cut their greenhouse gas emissions drastically and immediately.”

Keith Allott, head of WWF-UK’s climate change program, praised Ms Merkel for pushing hard for as robust an agreement as possible, but said Mr Blair had made only limited headway with Mr Bush.

“Tony Blair has staked his legacy on securing a tough emissions reduction goal and encouraging George Bush back into the UN process. He has made progress only on the second point – and even here, the proof of the pudding will come later.”

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