From: Emily Winter, Associated Press
Published June 6, 2005 12:00 AM

Britain Promises to Make G-8 Summit Environmentally Friendly

LONDON — World leaders gathering for a summit of the G-8 group of wealthy nations in Scotland next month will do so without contributing to global warming, Britain's government promised.

The government was to announce Sunday said that it would ensure the July 6-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, is environmentally friendly by donating 50,000 pounds (US$90,000, euro70,000) to projects that will keep as much carbon dioxide out of the air as the leaders put in. Many scientists blame emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, for helping increasing global temperatures.

The money will cover emissions from all the meetings Britain is hosting as part of its yearlong chairmanship of the G-8, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

A spokesman for the department denied the effort was an attempt to head off the environmental campaigners who have been a feature of recent G-8 summits and said it was an earnest attempt to reach carbon emissions targets.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has made fighting global warming and poverty in Africa the centerpiece of the G-8's agenda this year, and Blair hopes to reach deals in both areas at the summit.

The government said the year's G-8 meetings will emit 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide gas emissions, about as much as 800 homes create in a year. The pollution will come from officials' air travel, local ground transportation and hotel stays.

Britain hired the group Energy for Sustainable Development to come up with that estimate and said it would be updated.

The environmental projects the government is helping fund include one to reduce the pollution created by poor people's homes in Cape Town, South Africa. The homes will get solar water heaters, ceiling insulation and energy efficient light bulbs.

Energy for Sustainable Development said the measures would prevent 5,600 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted each year.

The government said it will encourage recycling at the summit hotel, serve attendees "fair trade" food whose producers get good prices and make sure meeting delegates travel in clean-fuel vehicles.

Catherine Pearce, of the group Friends of the Earth, applauded the effort but said it was more important for the government to make sure Britain meets its goals for increasing the use of energy from environmentally friendly sources.

Source: Associated Press

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