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G8's Gleneagles Plan of Action On Climate Change

The G8 Summit issued a plan addressing climate change called "Gleneagles Plan of Action" on July 8. Some of the major issues addressed are:

Transforming Energy Use:
The G8 called for buildings and consumer appliances to be more energy efficient as well as the development of "cleaner, more efficient and lower-emitting vehicles," including cleaner gasoline and diesel technologies, use of biofuels, hybrid engines and hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles.

Cleaner Energy:
Energy sources need to be diversified "including increased use of renewables". A "Global Bioenergy Partnership" will be formed to support wider, cost-effective use of biofuels, especially in developing countries where wood is commonly burned for warmth and cooking. Although fossil fuels "will continue to be an important part of the global energy mix," the summit warned, adding however: "We will need to find ways to manage the associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions." The document gives strong verbal support for "clean coal" technology, which removes damaging sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide pollutants from coal, and for carbon sequestration, a fledgling technology in which carbon dioxide (CO2) is stripped out of oil as it is burned in power stations and pumped into underground chambers for storage.

Financing The Transition To Cleaner Energy:
Countries that have ratified the UN's Kyoto Protocol on climate change vowed to "strengthen and develop" the pact's market mechanisms, including its market for carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, they will strive to provide adequate funds for the Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism by the end of 2005.

Managing The Impact Of Climate Change:
The summit reaffirmed the importance of the UN's top scientific committee on global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose next assessment report is due in 2007. Leaders called for action "from both timber-producing and timber-consuming countries" to tackle illegal logging. They emphasized the importance of the Congo Basin and the Amazon, forest-rich regions that are referred to as carbon sinks which suck up and store carbon pollution from the atmosphere.

Research And Development:
The G8 expressed its support for research and development into energy technology, including hydrogen, and to "reinforce links with the international business community and developing countries."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

TAGS: The Economy
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