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Major polluters drop pledge to halve emissions: EU official

world Updated: Jul 08, 2009 17:48 IST

Major polluting nations meeting at a G8 summit in Italy have dropped a pledge to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a European Union official said on Wednesday.

"There is indeed a very strong commitment to identify the global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050, but there is no 50 percent" mentioned in a draft declaration, the official said on condition of anonymity.

However, the Group of Eight industrialised countries and other major polluters agreed ahead of a three-day G8 summit that the target should be set before a key December climate change meeting in Copenhagen, the official said.

Leaders are coming under growing pressure to make ambitious commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the summit in L'Aquila ahead of the Copenhagen meeting.

Officials preparing the summit were "willing" to maintain a target of trying to limit climate warming to two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, the official said.

They also agreed that greenhouse gas emissions should peak "as soon as possible" whereas countries belonging to the G8 were seeking a target of 2020 for the peak in pollution, the official added.