G8 participants report climate-agreement highs and lows

We can’t possibly do justice to the intricacies of this week’s G8 summit in this space. So brace for some injustice: German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants the G8 to agree to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. U.S. President George Bush doesn’t dig that plan, and wants to involve China and India in a vaguely defined “long-term solution.” Bush and Merkel met yesterday, after which media around the world reported that her climate hopes were dashed. “There are a few areas here and there we will continue to work on,” she said. Today, a glimmer of hope surfaced after Bush met with Tony Blair. The outgoing British prime minister emerged from that chat saying he hoped the G8 would agree to cuts “on the order of” 50 percent — without, you know, using any actual numbers. Said Bush: “We are deadly earnest about getting something done. The U.S. will be actively involved if not taking the lead in a post-Kyoto framework.” The G8 will issue a final climate communique tomorrow.