Good news from the G8The Group of Eight (G8) countries finally produced a meaningful agreement that will have global impact on the human race. At the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, last week, the leaders of the G8 agreed to take seriously the proposal of the EU, Japan and Canada to halve gas emissions in the world by 2050.
A critical turning point came when the the United States changed its position after a long stance of opposing the reduction of greenhouse gases.
A discussion on the new international agreement will start at the UN Panel on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, at the end of this year. That event may produce a document that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is valid until 2012.
The Kyoto Protocol was ratified in 2005, but since the United States did not take part in that agreement, the protocol lacked teeth ― especially because the United States produces 28 percent of the world’s gas emissions.
Despite international criticism, the United States had refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol due to concerns over weakening U.S. industries.
There remain concerns in the future over the obligatory emission reductions for each country.
The participation of China and India also causes great controversy because as their economies develop, their huge populations will make them among the largest energy consuming countries.
Korea has been exempt from the obligation to reduce greenhouse gases because it was classified as a developing country under the Kyoto Protocol.
That designation was made despite the fact that Korea is the 10th-largest CO2 producing nation in the world.
However, it is obvious that Korea, in addition to China and India, will receive pressure to act responsibly about the issue of global warming.
A comprehensive review of the nation’s energy consumption structure in industry should be prepared soon, as well as a new plan to develop eco-friendly industries.
It is good to have nations on the same page in this critical issue.