Statement: G8 Climate Goal

Statement of Eileen Claussen, President
Pew Center on Global Climate Change

July 8, 2008

The G8’s endorsement of an aspirational long-term climate goal is a positive step but far short of a solution.  While cutting global emissions in half by 2050 probably would not avoid dangerous climate change altogether, it would greatly reduce the odds of catastrophic impacts.  And with emissions now rising faster than ever, meeting such an ambitious goal requires an all-out global effort.
But more important than the long-term goal is actually getting the job started, and there the G8 again failed to deliver.  Endorsing the use of economy-wide goals to achieve absolute emission reductions is a step forward for President Bush.  But what is needed – and what is missing – is a clear declaration by the industrialized powers that they are ready to negotiate strong, binding mid-term targets.  That is the kind of leadership it will take to get all the major economies on board an effective, sustained global effort.


More G8 coverage
Click here to listen to an interview with Elliot Diringer, Director of International Strategies at the Pew Center.