Friday, July 10, 2009

LEADERS OF INDUSTRIAL NATIONS AGREE TENTATIVELY TO TRY TO HOLD TEMPERATURE RISE DOWN

Washington Post - The world's leading industrial nations tentatively agreed to try to prevent global temperatures from rising above a fixed level, after a more far-reaching proposal to slash production of greenhouse gases fizzled, according to U.S. and European negotiators.

Leaders meeting here for the Group of Eight summit said they would pledge to keep temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above average levels of more than a century ago, before large-scale industrial pollution occurred.

Temperatures have already risen by nearly half that amount, leaving little wiggle room. It was unclear what mechanisms, if any, would be adopted to enforce the target.

Some environmental groups saw the announcement as a weak nod at the obvious.

"This was such an opportunity," said Tobias Muenchmeyer, a Berlin-based activist with the group Greenpeace. "We are very disappointed that the result is so limited."

For other groups, the best that could be said of Wednesday's declaration was that, although it did not commit countries to specific cuts in greenhouse gases, it appeared to create a moral imperative to do so eventually.