The Group of Eight Tries to Tackle Climate Change

Reader Contribution by Ramsey Cox

This week President Barack Obama pushed the issue of climate change at the Group of 8 summit in Italy.

The United States and European countries, such as Germany, England, France and Italy proposed an agreement that called for worldwide emissions to be cut by 50 percent by 2050, with industrial countries cutting their emissions by 80 percent.

The industrial nations such as China, Brazil, India and Mexico did not agree to the proposal.

“They’re saying, ‘We just don’t trust you guys,’ ” said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, to the New York Times. “It’s the same gridlock we had last year when Bush was president.”

The New York Times also reported that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, the meeting’s host, said it made little sense for Group of 8 countries to take on onerous commitments if “five billion people continue to behave as they have always behaved.”

Instead the group came to an agreement that the global temperature should not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but did not demand any commitments on how nations will do their part to ensure that goal is reached.

The fact that developing countries will not agree to major climate change reform means there is a lot of work still to be done before the worldwide climate treaty conference in Copenhagen this December.