Next week, here on Climate Feedback, I’ll be reporting directly from Hokkaido, Japan’s nothernmost island, where leaders from rich nations and emerging economies will be meeting to discuss some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Gathering from July 7-9 will be the Group of Eight (G8) – an exclusive but informal bloc of nations, comprising the world’s seven leading economies Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Russia. This year’s summit will extend to an additional eight industrialised nations on the final day to facilitate US President George Bush’s Major Economies Meeting.
Climate Change is expected to top the agenda of both meetings. Pressure is on G8 delegates to go above and beyond the political breakthrough of the 2007 Summit in Heilegendamm, Germany, where leaders agreed to seriously consider slashing emissions by half of 1990 levels by 2050. And George Bush seems keen to leave some sort of a legacy on tackling climate change through this meeting of major economies (or just any sort of a legacy other than Iraq actually).
But are binding emissions a realistic expectation of the G8? Will oil prices and global food shortages bump global warming down the agenda? And what progress on climate change is likely under the current US administration? I’ve written a preview in this week’s Nature on what’s being hoped for, and expected, from what should be a very interesting round of talks.
Tune in here from next Monday to follow the events as they take place.