Page last updated at 04:54 GMT, Monday, 26 May 2008 05:54 UK

G8 calls for 2050 emissions goal

File photo of a chemical plant in Jilin province, China, December 2007
Major emerging economies such as China also attended the talks

Environment ministers from the world's biggest economies, the G8, have called for rich countries to take the lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

In a statement issued after talks in Japan, they urged their leaders to set a target to halve global emissions by 2050 when they hold a summit in July.

The G8 agreed last year in Germany to "seriously consider" the move - a proposal opposed by the US and Russia.

The talks aimed to set the agenda for this year's G8 summit in Toyako, Japan.

"To halve emissions, advanced countries should exercise leadership to achieve major cuts," the Japanese Environment Minister, Ichiro Kamoshita, told a news conference.

The G8 ministers - who were also joined by major emerging economies such as China - said a strong political will had been expressed to place developed countries at the forefront of the campaign.

The G8 is made up of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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