G8 not doing enough on greenhouse emissions

The G8 nations are not reducing their emissions enough to avoid "devastating" climate change.

Conservation charity WWF issued the warning as a report on the performance of G8 countries on criteria such as emissions trends and renewable energy showed they were moving too slowly in the race to combat global warming.

The G8 Climate Scorecards 2008 study for WWF and financial services provider Allianz put the UK in the lead on tackling climate change.

But Britain still scored badly on low levels of renewables and an insufficiently ambitious long-term target for cutting greenhouse gases.

WWF called on the G8 countries meeting in Hokkaido, Japan, next week, to commit to significant and binding emissions reductions targets.

The report said industrialised countries needed to cut their emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, and the G8 should commit to 25-40 per cent reductions –- a figure which caused much dispute at the UN climate change conference in Bali last year – by 2020.

The scorecards said that, while the UK is on target to meet its international emissions cuts obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, reductions have stalled since 2000 and are expected to rise.

The US scored worst for rising greenhouse gases, being the largest emitter on a per-person basis and for its failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF UK, said: "It may look like we will reach our Kyoto target, but carbon emissions have been rising in recent years and the current levels of renewable energy used in the UK are still far lower than they should be.

"Looking at the G8 group as a whole, none of the leading industrialised countries are set to reduce emissions enough to avoid devastating global warming.

"We have only 10 to 15 years left in which global emissions must peak and decline, so time is clearly running out."

Joachim Faber of Allianz SE said: "The G8 countries have a responsibility to be high achievers in the race against climate change.

"They need to be role models trail-blazing the way to steer the world towards a low carbon, clean energy economy."

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