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Climate change and food security to dominate G8

8 Jul 2009

The Irish Times

by Jamie Smyth

LEADERS FROM the G8 group of leading economies meet in Italy tomorrow to try to agree a common approach for tackling climate change and food security.

They will also discuss the global economic crisis amid concerns that rising debt levels in many developed countries pose a risk to economic recovery.

"We go to L'Aquila with a number of key objectives. We will insist on the need to respect the two-degrees-Celsius target," said European Commission president José Manuel Barroso yesterday laying out the union's priorities for the summit.

He also welcomed a proposal tabled by the US and Japan for a new "food security initiative", which would represent a shift away from providing direct food aid to those suffering hunger towards more sustainable long-term investments in farming.

The G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, forms the centerpiece of three days of meetings between more than 30 world leaders. The leaders of developing countries China, Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa and Egypt will join the summit on Wednesday with several African leaders attending on Thursday.

The EU is pushing G8 members US, Japan, Russia and Canada to lay the groundwork for agreeing a deal later this year at an UN summit in Copenhagen for steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

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