Oh, what a difference a day makes. Less than 24 hours removed from lofty goals, including 50 percent global cuts in carbon emissions by 2050, the G8 has backtracked, and now has agreed simply to “substantially reduce carbon emissions” by 2050, reports The Guardian UK.
And G8 nations themselves are now no longer willing to cut emissions 80 percent by 2050.
In another blow to worldwide climate negotiations, the G8 draft declaration does not point to any midterm goals for 2020 or 2025, instead using vague language indicating the goal will be regularly reviewed.
Yvo de Boer, the U.N.’s top climate change official, called the new draft a “careful but useful step forward toward Copenhagen,” Reuters reports.
While developing nations have been publicly reticent to comply with any G8 goal to halve emissions by 2050, De Boer said he understood their reasoning. He likened asking poor nations to set carbon cut targets before rich nations come up with funding plans and goals to “jumping out of a plane and being assured that you are going to get a parachute on the way down.”
In the draft, the G8 did decide to retain language about avoiding a 2 degree celcius worldwide temperature rise at all costs.
G8 nations in the draft indicate they will work together in months leading to the UN Copenhagen conference in December “to identify a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050.”