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
For the fourth time, together with the rotating presidency of the Council, President Barroso represented the EU as full member of the G8, which took place at a time when, more than ever, multiple global challenges required the commitment and determination of G8 leaders.
The summit focused on climate change, development, the world economy and rising food and energy prices.
President Barroso welcomed the important achievements agreed at the summit. On key issues for the global community, the world's major economies showed leadership and determination to drive forward ambitious global solutions. "We have moved towards real action on climate change here in Toyko. The EU's benchmark for success at this Summit has been achieved."
At the heart of this summit was a discussion on how to respond to global challenges – notably climate change. "And we have had results which are better than could have been expected,"said the President.
Leaders agreed a long-term goal of at least 50% reduction of emissions by 2050. President Barroso: "I have been pleased to see a new, shared vision by the G8 members on the climate challenge and I am also pleased to see the G8 willingness to share this vision with other countries within the UN framework. Now we need to move fast and work hard to secure an ambitious global deal in Copenhagen that will enable the world's nations to rise to this challenge together."
Ambitious targets provide transparency, a basis for political accountability and certainty for business. "The EU will deliver on the ambitious targets we have set, in particular in the climate action and energy package proposed by Commission," said the President.
The EU's climate action and energy package would further reduce reliance on fossil fuels through diversification of energy sources while promoting energy efficiency. President Barroso noted that this "matters greatly to our citizens: their energy bills will become more manageable as cars and houses become more energy efficient." The EU very much supported the G8 conclusions on energy efficiency and in particular the idea to create a G8 Energy Forum.
Climate change also affects directly the work on Millenium Development Goals. It has in many ways made the MDGs harder to deliver - by diverting resources to adaptation, for instance. "But we have to respond by making climate change a priority in our work with Africa, as the European Union is doing in the EU-Africa Partnership, and in the Global Climate Change Alliance," said President Barroso.
Finally, it means an inevitable focus on resources. Again, the EU showed itself ready to deliver: half the increases in the EU’s collective official development assistance would be allocated to Africa, with the result that the EU would be on track to provide more than 90% of the G8’s $25 billion pledge.
Leaders also discussed challenges facing the world economy, including both trade and investment. "The world economy needs a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced agreement," explained the President.
Ahead of the Summit President Barroso said: "The G8 summit is a chance we must not miss. Our chance to respond internationally to pressing challenges that concern everybody, everywhere. Particularly now because of the impact of climate change, development, instability in the world economy and rising food and oil prices, it is important that we make concrete commitments. We need to drive forward the efforts to reach a global climate change deal by 2009, achieve the Millennium Development Goals and react to rising food and oil prices. In testing times for the global economy and the world's poorest, our determination to act must be unequivocal."
PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS
- 09/04/2008 – Commission urges EU countries to deliver on development aid
- 20/05/2008 - Commission outlines European response to mitigate effects of rising global food prices
- 08/06/2008 - The G8 agees to establish an International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC)
- 11/06/2008 - Commission calls for swift adoption of energy and climate policies as best coordinated response to rising oil prices
- 19/06/2008 - Commission's / EU's response to high oil and food prices
- 04/07/2008 – Commission's position ahead of the summit
- 04/07/2008 - The 2008 G8 summit – questions and answers
- 07/07/2008 - President Barroso’s statement during session with African leaders
- 08/07/2008 - President Barroso’s speech at the summit's concluding press conference
- 08/07/2008 - G8 leaders statement on global food security
- 08/07/2008 - G8 leaders statement on counter-terrorism
- 08/07/2008 - G8 leaders statement on Zimbabwe
- Official G8 website
VIDEOS AND PHOTOS