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Clean climate onus on you, G5 tells big eight

New Delhi, July 8: The leaders of India, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa today asked the developed countries to take the lead in achieving ambitious cuts in Earth-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and change lifestyles.

The Group of Five (G5) leaders — under growing pressure from the G8 nations to join global efforts to combat climate change — said emission reduction goals should take into account “historical responsibility”.

“It is essential that developed countries take the lead in achieving ambitious and absolute GHG emissions reductions,” the G5 leaders said in their statement released in Toyako, Hokkaido, the venue of the two-day G8 summit that got under way today.

The G5 said developed countries should aim at emission cuts of 25 to 40 per cent of the 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 to 95 per cent cuts by 2050.

“We also urge the international community, particularly developed countries, to promote sustainable consumption patterns and lifestyles responsive to (climate change) mitigation requirements.”

The per capita energy consumption in the developed countries is several times higher than in the developing countries.

The G8 nations have said that enhanced commitments by “all major economies” are essential for tackling climate change. In a statement today, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the G8 would seek to adopt as a global goal at least 50 per cent reduction of GFHG emissions by 2050.

“It goes without saying that the achievement of the long-term goal will only be realised with the contribution (of) the other major economies,” Fukuda said.

Which nations take on what reduction targets will be a key item on the agenda of talks during a scheduled hour-long breakfast meeting between the G8 and the G5 delegations tomorrow.

“We are committed to nationally appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions which also support sustainable development,” the G5 leaders have said. But, they said, developing countries were looking for enhanced finance and technology from developed countries to meet the challenge of climate change.

India believes that the primary responsibility for the state of the climate lies with developed countries. India’s per capita emission of carbon dioxide is 1.2 tonnes, a fraction of the figures for the US, Japan, or the UK.

“They (developed countries) should get off the backs of India and China,” Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said in New Delhi. “Instead, they should help India and China move towards a low carbon economy with technology and finance.”

In their statement, the G5 leaders have also attributed the global food crisis to the developed countries, asserting that the world produces enough food, but not enough people have access to it.

“Multi-billion agricultural trade-distorting support in developed countries have hampered the development of food production capacity in developing countries, critically reducing their possibilities of reaction to the present crisis,” the G5 said.

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