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Published: Sunday 25 August, 2013

michaels kors handbags michaels kors handbags 8 summit isolates US on climate change

This is some analysts assessment after leaders of the worlds eight mostpowerful economies issued their joint statement Thursday.

Despite strong pushback from the Bush administration, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had warned that she would brook no watereddown words on climate change when this years summit ended. It appears that Mrs. Merkel, the chair of this years meeting, has held true to her word.

In the communiqu, the European Union, Japan, and Canada set a goal of reducing emissions of heattrapping gases from cars, factories, and power plants by 50 percen michaels kors handbags t below 1990 levels by 2050. This implicitly accepts the notion that countries should reduce emissions of heattrapping greenhouse gases mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels to levels that hold the increase in global average temperatures to about 2 degrees C 3.6 degrees F. over preindustrial levels.

The most substantial achievement is that these nations will very seriously consider decreasing greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2050. This is not yet a final decision, but the ambition has been quantified, which is much more than we had hoped for. The door toward a major commitment is now fully open, says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Merkels chief environmental adviser.

But the White House walked away with several of its presummit positions intact, notes Alex Lennon, codirector of the climate project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS in Washington. It commits only to considering seriously the emissions target and timetable that the EU, Japan, and Canada say they will strive for. The White House also saw its emphasis on longterm action retained, at the expense of proposed language that included shortterm goals for improving energy efficiency.

In addition, the G8 welcomed a US offer to host talks later this year among the 15 largest greenhousegas emi michaels kors handbags tters to work toward a new climatechange agreement that would take over after 2012, when the first fiveyear commitment period ends under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

This is a leastcommondenominator process, Dr. Lennon says. My reading of the communiqu is that the US is leading the process. It looks much more like the proposal President Bush announced last Thursday than it does the European objectives beforehand.

There were just a few real areas of agreement: that a new climate treaty should be negotiated by 2009 and that it should take place under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a 1992 agreement that set a target for emissions reductions among industrial countries but did not include binding commitments to meet the targets. The frameworks failure to achieve emissions reductions led world leaders to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol, which includes binding commitments for industrial nations.

Yet some read the communiqu to suggest that the rest of the G8, particularly the EU, Japan, and Britain, have oneupped the United States in the effort to engage developing countries in discussions about a postKyoto regime. Five of the largest developing countries, whose rising emissions are of increasing concern, attended the meeting as observers.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Merkel have started to create a consensus among the other G8 countries and the five largest developing countries on the framework for a new agreement to be reached in 2009, says Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust in Washington. He notes that Canada also agreed to be included among the countries supporting a specific longterm emissions goal. The leaders have started to create the consensus necessary for a new US president to come to the table in January 2009 and reach an agreement by that November.

Exactly what that president might agree to is an open question, cautions Lennon of the CSIS. Among many Republicans and many members of the business community, he says, there remains a strong preference for voluntary standards, concerns that emissions reductions would harm the economy in ways that obstruct the development of new technologies needed to fight global warming, and a dislike of mandatory emissionstrading schemes.

There is a potential misperception that Bush is holding up the agenda, he says. This was true up until two years ago. He was sticking to the idea that the science wasnt strong enough and that we couldnt be sure humans were causing the problem. But thats gone by this summit. Now its a question about the means, between emissions reductions and developing new technologies.

The two are not mutually exclusive, he acknowledges. But, he adds, fears remain about sharp reductions costing economies the wealth needed to develop technologies that could hel michaels kors handbags p later.

The communiqu reveals other differences in strategy, he says. The EU appears to be focusing on an allinclusive approach, where all the countries in the world have to reach an agreement similar to the Kyoto Protocol, Lennon says. The US, instead, is trying to set up what I would call a coalition of the necessary.

Whatever the strategy, the next venue for working through these differences and continuing the effort to engage developing countries in a postKyoto agreements appears to be Bali, where the next round of annual UNsponsored climate talks is scheduled to take place in December. michaels kors handbags