World Leaders Meet in Japan for G8 Summit

The leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialised nations meet in Japan today to discuss the challenges posed to global development by climate change, rising food prices and escalating energy costs.

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has called on the US to take the lead on fighting climate change, stating in an interview with AFP that “it’s desirable for industrialised nations to lead by example”. Ban said that “political will” was lacking in the fight against climate change. In the same article it is reported that the chief of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has said it’s unlikely that specific targets for emissions cuts will be agreed by leaders at the summit. However, he says he hopes for agreement to “a long-term commitment of a 50 per cent reduction by 2050 and a principle agreement for a mid term reduction [for each G8 nation]”.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to call on G8 leaders to accelerate efforts to tackle global warming, seeing this as integral to the development agenda.