G8 Nations Seek Urgent Action to Fight Climate ChangeBy VOA News
14 June 2008

Finance ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations ended a two-day meeting in Osaka, Japan, Saturday with a wide-ranging statement addressing oil and food prices, troubled financial markets and global climate change.

The statement said "urgent and concerted action" is needed to show leadership in tackling climate change.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during news conference at G8 Finance Ministers Meeting in Osaka, Japan, 14 Jun 2008The United States, Britain and Japan led a drive for a $10 billion clean technology fund, to be administered by the World Bank. It would help developing countries like India and China pay for cleaner ways to generate energy.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick says climate change already is hitting the least developed parts of the world hardest, with floods, poverty and hunger.

The ministers' statement called on the International community to respond to sharply rising food prices by increasing agricultural production.

They said wealthier nations should address the immediate needs of poor countries that import a large portion of their food.

The G8 communiqué said speculators must take a share of the blame for this year's rapid rise in oil prices, and asked the International Monetary Fund to investigate the price increases. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, however, told reporters later that he feels tight supplies and strong demand for fuel are the primary causes of high prices, not speculators.

Turning to world financial markets, the ministers urged market administrators to work for transparency and a more effective exchange of information about tax matters.

The G8 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Britain and the United States.

voa news