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Will Bush Surprise G8 Leaders?

Posted July. 08, 2008 09:20,   


The 2008 G8 summit opened in Toyako in Hokkaido, Japan`s northern island, yesterday.

In the three-day-long conference, 14 non-member nations, along with the eight member nations, will attend an expanded summit to deal with pending international issues such as climate change and surging oil and food prices.

▽ Gathering of global leaders

Yesterday’s agenda was "Development and Africa." The G8 member states and seven African nations discussed how to deal with surging grain and oil prices, and poverty in emerging economies. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Robert Zoelick also attended the summit. The result of the discussion will be reflected in today’s G8 summit meeting.

Today, leaders of the G8 member states will discuss measures to cope with global warming, international issues related with surging international oil and grain prices, and nuclear non-proliferation measures.

On the last day of the summit tomorrow, the G8 states and major emerging economies will have an extended summit meeting. Also, the G8 leaders, President Lee Myung-bak, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will have a Major Economies Meeting (MEM) on Climate Change. Yasuo Fukuda, chairman of the summit meeting, will announce a summit announcement, which contains the gist of the three-day-long discussions.

▽ Meeting of major greenhouse gas emitters

At this meeting, it is noteworthy to watch what countermeasures the United States, the European Union and emerging economies will release to deal with global warming.

José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, held a press conference yesterday in Toyako and said, “There should be an agreement on a clear-cut 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” At last year’s G8 summit in Germany’s Heiligendamm, member states agreed on "serious consideration" of the measure.

Regarding greenhouse gas emissions, the MEM draws much attention. The meeting was proposed by U.S. President George W. Bush who has been arguing that "the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission are meaningful when major emitters such as China and India also participate."

Japan’s Fukuda plans to chair the meeting along with Bush so as to pressure the U.S. leader to change his stance, hoping that Bush may make meaningful achievements in the summit before his term ends.

▽ Eco-friendly G8 summit

The venue of the G8 summit is all about "eco." Surprisingly, 95 percent of the Rusutsu International Media Center, where around 4,000 correspondents from all over the world will gather, is built with recyclable materials.

Also, the conference hall is surrounded by Japan’s "eco cars" such as electric vehicles, superconducting vehicles and biofuel vehicles.

The two-story media center with the gross area of 10,700 square meters cools down the temperature by putting pipes into 7,000 tons of snow collected in the winter. The pipes, garbage cans and desk partitions are made of cardboards. Also, several showcases on the environment are on display at the center.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism boasted that the building’s greenhouse gas emissions were more than 40 percent lower than other buildings. However, as the building is known to have cost a whopping 3 billion yen for construction, many reporters said, “It is not reasonable to invest 3 billion yen in a building that will be used for only six days and destroyed.”