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 user 2007-03-19 at 9:30:00 am Views: 29
  • #17511

    G8 assesses cost of species loss
    ministers from the G8 have agreed to a study of the economic costs
    globally of species becoming extinct as a result of climate change.

    minister Sigmar Gabriel said the destruction of biodiversity was “not
    just an issue for birdwatchers.”The loss of plant and animal species
    was an economic disaster fuelling poverty in many areas, he
    said.Ministers agreed the review should be along the lines of last
    year’s report by the economist Sir Nicholas Stern.Ministers from
    Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa are also attending the
    two-day talks in the eastern German city of Potsdam.

    environment minister said 150 species were being lost to extinction
    every day.”We agreed on the need for a report on the economic cost of
    biodiversity destruction, modelled on the Stern Report,” Sigmar Gabriel
    said.We wanted to highlight the economic value of biodiversity and also
    the dangers for our economic prosperity caused by biodiversity loss,”
    Mr Gabriel added.The Stern report estimated that climate change could
    cost between 5% and 20% of annual gross domestic product.

    ‘No new deal’
    of the talks, Mr Gabriel said the meeting was about bridging the gap
    between industrialised and developing nations.    ”We must guard
    against giving developing nations the impression that the developed
    world expects them to carry our share of the burden,” he said.He said
    that the meeting would not bring a new deal, but was more of a chance
    to discuss the issues.They will also discuss cutting greenhouse gas
    emissions and how to replace the Kyoto Protocol.”We are going to speak
    about the barriers that have until now held back international climate
    change negotiations and how to break them,” he said.G8 heads of state
    are expected to focus on climate change at talks in Germany’s
    Heiligendamm in June.World environment ministers are also due at a UN
    conference on the issue in Bali in December.Last week, European Union
    leaders agreed to slash carbon dioxide emissions by 20% from 1990
    levels by the year 2020 at a climate change summit in Brussels.But
    tackling the issues hinges on the response of heavy polluters outside
    the EU – the US, China and India.