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8 Jul, 2008 21:04

G8 reaches out to emerging nations

The third and final day of the G8 summit is under way in Japan. It’s reserved for the 'outreach format' when leaders from non-G8 countries such as China, Brazil and India join the established members to discuss issues of

The problems on the agenda are practically the same as they were on the first and the second days – rising food and fuel prices as well as climate change. Increasing aid to poorer countries is also on the agenda of day three.

On Tuesday, G8 nations agreed to halve greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century. In a statement, the leader for the first time conceded climate change was a global problem. However, G8 countries are unlikely to commit to any concrete targets on emissions until China, India and other emerging countries are onboard.

But these countries have called the G8 action plan to halve emissions by 2050 insufficient. They’ve issued a joint-statement claiming that the developed world is historically responsible for global warming. Furthermore, they insist the G8 countries should take the lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. They’ve called upon to the G8 to reduce emissions not by 80 to 90% rather than by half.

Karen Orenstein, a campaign co-ordinator with Friends of the Earth, told RT the G8 countries are now responsible for over 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions although they have only some 13% of the world’s population, so “it’s their historical responsibility to take the lead in climate change.”

She said the U.S. emits 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases while having only about 5% of the world’s population.

The third day of the summit has started in an outreach format. First, a working luncheon attended by the leaders of Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Mexico, as well as the G8 leaders, took place. They were then joined by those from Australia, Indonesia and South Korea, as well as the heads of a number of international organisations.

Later on Wednesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is to hold bilateral talks with the leaders of China, India and Brazil. Russia is in a special position, being both a G8 and a BRIC member. The BRIC alliance consists of a group of emerging countries with the fastest growing economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China.