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Full text: Leaders' statement on climate

Below is the statement on climate change agreed by 16 leading developed and developing countries at the G8 summit in Japan:

We, the leaders of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States met as the world's major economies in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan, on 9 July, 2008, and declare as follows:

1. Climate change is one of the great global challenges of our time. Conscious of our leadership role in meeting such challenges, we, the leaders of the world's major economies, both developed and developing, commit to combat climate change in accordance with our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and confront the interlinked challenges of sustainable development, including energy and food security, and human health.

We have come together to contribute to efforts under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the global forum for climate negotiations. Our contribution and cooperation are rooted in the objective, provisions, and principles of the Convention.

2. We welcome decisions taken by the international community in Bali, including to launch a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective, and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term co-operative action, now, up to, and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome in December 2009.

Recognising the scale and urgency of the challenge, we will continue working together to strengthen implementation of the Convention and to ensure that the agreed outcome maximises the efforts of all nations and contributes to achieving the ultimate objective in Article 2 of the Convention, which should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

3. The Major Economies Meetings constructively contribute to the Bali process in several ways:

First, our dialogue at political, policy, and technical levels has built confidence among our nations and deepened mutual understanding of the many challenges confronting the world community as we consider next steps under the Convention and continue to mobilise political will to combat global climate change.

Second, without prejudging outcomes or the views of other nations, we believe that the common understandings in this Declaration will help advance the work of the international community so it is possible to reach an agreed outcome by the end of 2009.

Third, recognising the need for urgent action and the Bali Action Plan's directive for enhanced implementation of the Convention between now and 2012, we commit to taking the actions in paragraph 10 without delay.

4. We support a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions, that assures growth, prosperity, and other aspects of sustainable development, including major efforts towards sustainable consumption and production, all aimed at achieving a low carbon society.

Taking account of the science, we recognise that deep cuts in global emissions will be necessary to achieve the Convention's ultimate objective, and that adaptation will play a correspondingly vital role. We believe that it would be desirable for the Parties to adopt in the negotiations under the Convention a long-term global goal for reducing global emissions, taking into account the principle of equity.

We urge that serious consideration be given in particular to ambitious IPCC scenarios. Significant progress toward a long-term global goal will be made by increasing financing of the broad deployment of existing technologies and best practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. However, our ability ultimately to achieve a long-term global goal will also depend on affordable, new, more advanced, and innovative technologies, infrastructure, and practices that transform the way we live, produce and use energy, and manage land.

5. Taking into account assessments of science, technology, and economics, we recognise the essential importance of enhanced greenhouse gas mitigation that is ambitious, realistic, and achievable. We will do more. We will continue to improve our policies and our performance while meeting other priority objectives, in keeping with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Achieving our long-term global goal requires respective mid-term goals, commitments and actions, to be reflected in the agreed outcome of the Bali Action Plan, taking into account differences in social and economic conditions, energy mix, demographics, and infrastructure among other factors, and the above IPCC scenarios.

In this regard, the developed major economies will implement, consistent with international obligations, economy-wide mid-term goals and take corresponding actions in order to achieve absolute emission reductions and, where applicable, first stop the growth of emissions as soon as possible, reflecting comparable efforts among them. At the same time, the developing major economies will pursue, in the context of sustainable development, nationally appropriate mitigation actions, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, with a view to achieving a deviation from business as usual emissions.

6. We recognise that actions to reduce emissions, including from deforestation and forest degradation, and to increase removals by sinks in the land use, land use change, and forestry sector, including cooperation on tackling forest fires, can make a contribution to stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These actions also reduce climate change impacts and can have significant co-benefits by maintaining multiple economic goods and ecological services. Our nations will continue to cooperate on capacity-building and demonstration activities; on innovative solutions, including financing, to reduce emissions and increase removals by sinks; and on methodological issues. We also stress the need to improve forest-related governance and cooperative actions at all levels.

7. We recognise that adaptation is vital to addressing the effects of inevitable climate change and that the adverse impacts of climate change are likely to affect developing countries disproportionately. We will work together in accordance with our Convention commitments to strengthen the ability of developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable ones, to adapt to climate change. This includes the development and dissemination of tools and methodologies to improve vulnerability and adaptation assessments, the integration of climate change adaptation into overall development strategies, increased implementation of adaptation strategies, increased emphasis on adaptation technologies, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability, and consideration of means to stimulate investment and increased availability of financial and technical assistance.

8. We affirm the critical role of technology and the need for technological breakthroughs in meeting the interlinked global challenges of energy security and climate change. In the near term, broader deployment of many existing technologies will be vital for both mitigation and adaptation. In particular, energy conservation, energy efficiency, disaster reduction, and water and natural resource management technologies are important.

We will promote the uptake and use of such technologies including renewables, cleaner and low-carbon technologies, and, for those of us interested, nuclear power. Technology cooperation with and transfer to developing countries are also vital in this effort, as is promoting capacity building.

For the longer term, research, development, demonstration, deployment, and transfer of innovative technologies will be crucial, and we acknowledge the need to enhance our investment and collaboration in these areas. Mindful of the important role of a range of alternative energy technologies, we recognise, in particular, the need for research, development, and large-scale demonstration of and cooperation on carbon capture and storage. We also note the value of technology roadmaps as tools to promote continuous investment and cooperation in clean energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment.

9. We recognise that tackling climate change will require greater mobilization of financial resources, both domestically and internationally. There is an urgent need to scale up financial flows, particularly financial support to developing countries; to create positive incentives for actions; to finance the incremental costs of cleaner and low-carbon technologies; to make more efficient use of funds directed toward climate change; to realise the full potential of appropriate market mechanisms that can provide pricing signals and economic incentives to the private sector; to promote public sector investment; to create enabling environments that promote private investment that is commercially viable; to develop innovative approaches; and to lower costs by creating appropriate incentives for and reducing and eliminating obstacles to technology transfer relevant to both mitigation and adaptation.

10. To enable the full, effective, and sustained implementation of the Convention between now and 2012, we will:

Work together on mitigation-related technology cooperation strategies in specific economic sectors, promote the exchange of mitigation information and analysis on sectoral efficiency, the identification of national technology needs and voluntary, action-oriented international cooperation, and consider the role of cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions, consistent with the Convention;

Direct our trade officials responsible for WTO issues to advance with a sense of urgency their discussions on issues relevant to promoting our cooperation on climate change;

Accelerate enhanced action on technology development, transfer, financing, and capacity building to support mitigation and adaptation efforts;

Support implementation of the Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change;

Improve significantly energy efficiency, a low-cost way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy security;

Continue to promote actions under the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer for the benefit of the global climate system; and

Intensify our efforts without delay within existing fora to improve effective greenhouse gas measurement.

11. Our nations will continue to work constructively together to promote the success of the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009.




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