Neither China nor India agreed to adopt the G8's targets for cutting carbon emissions by 2050 at their joint meeting today. Asia's two big developing economies, joined by Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa, said carbon reductions would endanger their growth and exacerbate poverty, and that rich nations should clean up the mess they had created. The emerging economies' holdout was only one of many signs that the G8 is losing clout, reports the Financial Times.
While Yasuo Fukuda, Japan's prime minister and the chair of the summit, insisted that this week's meeting was the most important in years, most of the problems leaders discussed—oil and food prices, climate change, African poverty—are largely beyond their reach. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed enlarging the G8, but that idea received little encouragement from the US and Japan.