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May 31, 2007

International Summit

U.S. Rejects G8 Climate Proposal

Declaration prepared by Germany's Merkel seen as crossing too many red lines

Bette Hileman

In preparation for the G8 summit on June 6 in Heiligendamm, Germany, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to reach an agreement with the U.S. on how to get control of climate change. But the White House objects to almost every major point in a draft G8 declaration on global warming that Germany, which holds the presidency of the G8 this year, has prepared.

The declaration proposes to freeze global greenhouse gas emissions within the next 10 to 15 years, to cut emissions to 50% of the 1990 level by 2050, and to limit global warming to 2 °C. It also calls for the G8 nations to increase energy efficiency 20% by 2020.

In a blunt memo, however, the U.S. says: "The treatment of climate change runs counter to our overall position and crosses multiple 'red lines' in terms of what we simply cannot agree to. ... We have tried to 'tread lightly,' but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position."

Senior officials from the G8 nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S.—are holding a new round of negotiations on the climate-change declaration during the next few days leading up to the summit. This is unusual because communiqu??s from G8 summits are generally agreed to weeks in advance. Merkel, however, has vowed not to change her stance in favor of strong emissions targets.

Climate change has been on the G8 agenda since 2005, when U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair tried without success to get agreement on strong measures to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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