G-8 leaders weigh tougher nuclear safety treaty, pledge climate progress

The communiqué notes solidarity with Japan and sympathy for the victims of the March earthquake and tsunami.

But it addresses the economic and export-safety repercussions of the crisis too, noting that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said his country would make “every effort to minimize the uncertainty that the disaster might add to the global economy, including as a result of the nuclear accident.”

“In particular, he committed to provide all relevant information regarding the nuclear emergency in a timely manner, and he ensured that products exported from Japan are safe. We stressed that measures on goods and travel should be based on scientific evidence,” the declaration states.

On climate change, the leaders restated their commitment to achieving a 50 percent cut in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with developed countries aiming for an 80 percent cut at that time.

A binding international climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol has proven elusive.

The fractious 2009 U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, produced a loose, nonbinding agreement widely viewed as too weak, while last year’s big U.N. summit in Mexico — which was less divisive — helped solidify plans and pledges made in Copenhagen around climate aid to developing nations and deforestation.

A binding climate deal isn’t expected out of the next big climate meeting in South Africa late this year, which the G-8 leaders appear to acknowledge by noting the meeting will be an “important step forward.”

The Deauville declaration states:

“The Durban Conference at the end of the year ... will be another important step forward, for working toward a comprehensive, ambitious, fair, effective and binding agreement involving all countries, and including the respective responsibilities of all major economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”