G8 summit leaders agree to halve greenhouse emissions by 2050

Leaders at the G8 summit have agreed to at least halve greenhouse emissions by 2050. The countries will work with nearly 200 states involved in the United Nations climate change talks.

A draft communique, produced at the summit, also calls for mid-term goals to be set to reach the shared target for 2050, but says it would be up to each individual country to adopt them. But US president George Bush says that Washington cannot agree to the targets unless China and India rein in their emissions as well.

Meanwhile, European officials have proposed drastically scaling back on their goal of increasing Europe’s use of biofuels. A new report by the UK Government has cast doubt on fuels made from crops as an effective way of fighting climate change.

British transport minister Ruth Kelly (pictured) says the introduction of biofuels should be slowed down as current goals could cause a global rise in greenhouse gas emissions as well as an increase in poverty in poorer countries.

The G8 industrial nations have also announced the creation of a world energy forum, in a bid to tackle surging fuel prices. The leaders intend to bring consumers and together to discuss ways of boosting output and cutting prices.

Oil prices are six times higher than they were in 2002. It is understood utility giant British Gas will be forced to rise its prices by up to 15% to counteract surging wholesale costs.

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