(The following article is reproduced from the a report Jonathan Weisman to the Wall Street Journal on 8th July 2009)
Chinese President Hu Jintao's sudden departure from the meeting early Wednesday further complicates negotiations, dealing a potentially significant blow to the summit's ability to produce concrete results on issues from climate change to economic recovery.
The G-8 nations -- the
On Tuesday night,
Since the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, reluctant Western nations have painted the unwillingness of developing economies such as
Developing countries have responded that they shouldn't have to slow or sacrifice their fossil-fuel-based economic growth to help the West atone for its historical consumption patterns.Wednesday's breakdown here underscored how difficult a breakthrough will be when the world gathers in
"We still have time before
But it was the failure of the developed nations to set short-term goals that gave the developing countries their reason for torpedoing a broader deal that seemed within reach just a week ago. The G-8 nations also couldn't agree on a pledge to help fund poorer countries' moves toward cleaner energy sources and mitigate the effects of climate change they are already feeling.
A draft declaration had provisionally called for $400 million in this aid -- a figure many nations called too small and others called too large. In the end, they got only theoretical commitments to help with finances and technology.
Still, the G-8 declaration did move the developed world toward stricter regulations on the emissions of climate-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. The developed nations agreed a year ago to a 50% reduction by 2050, but European negotiators argued a more aggressive target was needed ultimately to convince the developing nations. This year, they got 80%. But that may be less significant than it seems because the G-8 declaration leaves it to individual nations to decide their emissions baselines.
In another breakthrough, the G-8 agreed on Wednesday that global temperatures shouldn't rise more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels. The