HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (UPI) -- Leaders of the game world`s eight most-industrialized nations Thursday struck a compromise agreement over a final statement on climate change that will include a pledge to seriously consider halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and putting the plan to pursue climate protection talks in a U.N.-led framework. The compromise divided the international community, with politicians praising and environmental groups bashing it.
'We have agreed on very clear language ... recognizing that CO2 emissions must first be stopped and then substantially reduced,' a beaming German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the surprise breakthrough on the first working day of the Group of Eight summit in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm. 'No one can escape this political declaration. ... This is a giant step forward.'
Merkel said the text would include the commitment by the European Union, Canada and Japan to 'at least' halve their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, based on 1990 levels. All G8 nations -- including the United States and Russia -- would 'seriously consider' going down that road as well, Friday`s text would read, she revealed. All leaders agreed that there is a need for 'binding' long-term goals. The chancellor managed to convince U.S. President Bush of the need to negotiate this post-Kyoto agreement under the roof of the United Nations, starting with the meeting of U.N. environment ministers at the end of this year in Bali, Indonesia.