A draft agreement on climate change drawn up ahead of next month’s G8 summit could be scuppered as the US attempts to rewrite sections of the deal.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has put the environment at the top of the agenda during Germany’s presidency of the G8 and the climate change agreement is a central plank of its attempts to regain momentum after the failure to meet Kyoto targets.

But despite getting the support of other leaders, including Tony Blair, the BBC is claiming that the US is objecting strongly to the draft G8 targets to keep the global temperature rise below 2C this century and halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Although it has not made an official statement, documents seen by the broadcaster suggest that a clause saying: “…climate change is speeding up and will seriously damage our common natural environment and severely weaken (the) global economy… resolute action is urgently needed in order to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions…” is struck out.

There are a number of other crucial sections that have not impressed the White House and behind the scenes it is pressing for a significant switch in emphasis for the G8 agreement.

The revelation comes as a new study claims that up to one billion could be homeless by 2050 because of the impact of climate change.

Christian Aid’s report suggests that climate change will deepen an already worsening global migration crisis. It claims the wave of migrations will generate new conflicts in areas of the world where resources are most scarce.

The group wants a “stronger, braver response” by the international community if the worst effects of the crisis are to be averted.

The forthcoming G8 summit is likely to give a clear indication of what kind of response we can expect from our political leaders.


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