THE EU AT THE G8/G20
The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum of the world's largest economies to discuss common challenges and possible solutions. The European Union is, together with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, a full member of the G8.
THE EU AT THE G8/G20
President Barroso represented the EU at the Heiligendamm summit, together with the rotating presidency of the Council (Germany), where G8 leaders focused on the world economy and growth and responsibility in Africa.
At the press conference after the summit, President Barroso said: "Today the G8 achieved 5 major goals: … recognition that this [climate change] is a global problem which requires urgent, global solutions; commitment to substantial global emissions reductions; commitment to deliver a global agreement, including targets, under the UN; consensus that a global agreement is needed by 2009; recognition that in fixing those targets due account should be taken of the EU, Japan and Canada's targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% at least by 2050."
This means that the G8 has 'crossed the Rubicon', said President Barroso: "It is no longer if we should act, but by when and how." Mr Barroso noted President Bush's significant input, Chancellor Merkel's leadership and the coherent EU approach which has remained steady throughout the negotiations. "European leadership, unity and determination have helped deliver this outcome. This is not the end of the fight against climate change; nor the beginning of the end. But it is surely the end of the beginning."
Ahead of the summit President Barroso had called on G8 leaders to commit to further urgent international action on climate change. He had underlined that this commitment needs to extend to fast developing emerging economies, leaders of five of which would attend part of the summit. President Barroso also said it was time for the EU's partners to make the next move towards a successful end to the Doha trade round, responding to positive steps already taken by the Union. He welcomed the focus in the agenda on development issues and called for Europe and the world to keep their promises to Africa.
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