Statement by Elliot Diringer, Director of International Strategies, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
June 7, 2007
Today's G-8 agreement represents modest but genuine progress toward an effective multilateral response to global climate change. Chancellor Merkel deserves enormous credit for forging a new consensus among G8 leaders that hopefully will be a foundation for concerted action.
In accepting the U.S. offer to host a meeting of major economies, the other G-8 leaders rightly insisted that this new dialogue go further than proposed by President Bush and consider international policies, not just a long-term goal. With their call for a global agreement under the UN Framework Convention by 2009, G-8 leaders have set a very ambitious timeline for establishing the post-2012 framework but offer no clear vision of what it should look like. Wide differences remain on fundamental issues such as the need for binding international commitments. And without such commitments, emissions will continue to grow.
If the United States and other G-8 governments are serious about this ambitious timeline, the next critical step will be launching formal negotiations under the Framework Convention at the upcoming talks in Bali. The goal in Bali should be a clear road-map toward a comprehensive post-2012 agreement with binding commitments by all the major economies.