G8 leaders meet counterparts from emerging nations


Heiligendamm (Germany) : Leaders of the world's wealthiest nations opened talks Friday with their counterparts from key emerging states, including economic powerhouses China and India.

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The leaders of the so-called "Group of Five" developing states, which also include South Africa, Brazil and Mexico, are expected to discuss climate change challenges with the Group of Eight (G8) nations at the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm.

Also attending part of the talks are representatives from Egypt, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal.

The so-called G8 outreach session comes a day after the eight leaders from the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Russia – sealed a compromise deal on combating climate change, including efforts to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The G8 summit, chaired by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also witnessed an apparent easing of East-West tensions after Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to give the US access to a missile radar station in Azerbaijan.

He described his proposal as an alternative to Washington's controversial plans to station elements of a missile defence system in Central Europe, a move that Russia fiercely opposes.

Merkel is expected to press the emerging economies – especially China and India to join the climate-change fight. But both countries say the key responsibility for fighting global warming lies with industrialized nations.

"Considering both historical responsibility and current capability, developed countries should take the lead in reducing carbon emissions and help developing countries to adapt to climate change," Chinese President Hu Jintao said ahead of the G8 meeting.