No mandatory target was set for the cuts, but Mrs Merkel's preference for a 50% emissions cut by the year 2050 was included in the agreed statement.
So is the agreement pointless? Should the Europeans have pushed stubborn America harder to do its part in the attempt to slow down human-caused global warming? Probably — to both.
There were more catches in the results of the now-concluded G8 summit. There was an agreement on aid for fighting AIDS and other diseases in Africa — although the aid pledged in 2005 has still not been delivered on. Out of the $60 billion pledged, it was pointed out that only $3 billion of it is new aid. Half of that aid will be given by the United States.
I will write a couple more posts on the G8 meeting, but here are some more topics it either covered or failed to cover:
At the close of the summit, the G8 issued a number of statements on other topics, saying:
* It supported "further measures" against Iran if Tehran failed to stop its uranium enrichment programme
* It would back further action against Sudan if Khartoum failed to support international efforts to end the conflict in Darfur
* North Korea should stop testing nuclear-capable missiles and abandon all nuclear programmes
* It had failed to find a common position on the future status of Kosovo