Toyako (Japan), July 8 : Leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) nations on Tuesday reconfirmed the significance of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), saying here that it provided the most comprehensive assessment of the science and that there was need to encourage the continuation of this science-based approach for climate protection efforts.
In statement issued here after a comprehensive discussion on the dangers being posed by global warming and human irresponsibility on the climate and the environment, the G-8 leaders said: "We reaffirm our commitment to take strong leadership in combating climate change and in this respect, welcome decisions taken in Bali as the foundation for reaching a global agreement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process by 2009."
" We are committed to its successful conclusion. Enhanced commitments or actions by all major economies are essential for tackling climate change. Therefore, we endorse the positive contribution of the Major Economies Leaders Meeting to the UNFCCC," they added.
They further said that: "We are committed to avoiding the most serious consequences of climate change and determined to achieve the stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of global greenhouse gases consistent with the ultimate objective of Article 2 of the Convention and within a time frame that should be compatible with economic growth and energy security. Achieving this objective will only be possible through common determination of all major economies, over an appropriate time frame, to slow, stop and reverse global growth of emissions and move towards a low-carbon society."
Stating that they wanted to share with all parties to the UNFCCC the vision of, and together with them to consider and adopt in the UNFCCC negotiations, the goal of achieving at least 50 percent reduction of global emissions by 2050, they said they recognized that this global challenge could only be met by a global response, and in particular, by the contributions from all major economies, consistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
They, however, cautioned that: "Substantial progress toward such a long-term goal requires, inter alia, in the near-term, the acceleration of the deployment of existing technologies, and in the medium- and long-term, will depend on the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies in ways that will enable us to meet our sustainable economic development and energy security objectives."
In this regard, there was therefore a need to emphasize the importance and urgency of adopting appropriate measures to stimulate development and deployment of innovative technologies and practices.
They said that making progress towards this shared vision, and a long-term global goal would require mid-term goals and national plans to achieve them.
The plans, they said, should reflect a diversity of mitigation and adaptation approaches.
"We look forward to discussing this issue with leaders of other major economies tomorrow and to continuing the discussions among the major economies and in the UNFCCC negotiations over the coming months. We recognize that what the major developed economies do will differ from what major developing economies do, consistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. In this respect, we acknowledge our leadership role and each of us will implement ambitious economy-wide mid-term goals in order to achieve absolute emissions reductions and, where applicable, first stop the growth of emissions as soon as possible, reflecting comparable efforts among all developed economies, taking into account differences in their national circumstances," the statement said.
"We will also help support the mitigation plans of major developing economies by technology, financing and capacity-building. At the same time, in order to ensure an effective and ambitious global post-2012 climate regime, all major economies will need to commit to meaningful mitigation actions to be bound in the international agreement to be negotiated by the end of 2009," they concluded. By Mrityunjay Singh
Story first published: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 16:19 [IST]