Leaders of the Group of Eight countries have concluded their summit in Gleneagles with a series of communiqués, despite the London terrorist attacks that disrupted the meeting. Though the declarations are not as bold as activists had hoped, they nonetheless represent progress on poverty in Africa andto a lesser extentclimate change and global economic imbalances
On climate change, though, the progress was glacial. The G8s communiqué acknowledged that human activity is causing global warming, and that the current state of scientific knowledge justifies trying to slow, and eventually reverse, the process. But intense lobbying by America kept the actual commitment to do anything tepid. The G8 vowed to act with resolve and urgency, but did not go into specifics about what that action would be, or when it might be undertaken.
Nonetheless, as G8 summits go, this one was pretty effective. America at least agreed to allow the group to acknowledge man-made global warming, a concession big enough to make France back off from its threat to issue a separate communiqué on climate change that excluded the United States. And $50 billion-worth of new aid is big news from a summit that usually specialises in the most general of generalities.
Moreover, while the overwhelming majority of climate experts are undoubtedly disappointed that the G8 chose to punt on the issue of global warming, some poverty experts will be glad of a more measured pace of aid dispersal than previously proposed.
Extract from The economist