Global warming has emerged as one of the most important contentious international environmental issue. International efforts are ongoing to address this issue and in every summit this issue is being discussed. In the recently concluded G-8 summit the issue of global warming catches the attention of both the developed and developing countries.
In 1975 the presidents of France and Germany invited, the strongest economies, the United States, Britain, Italy and Japan to Rambouillet on the outskirts of Paris. The purpose was to bring the leaders of the world's strongest economies together for an informal discussion of the economic turmoil left in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis and the collapse of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates. The group has been meeting since then annually to discuss their problems in a coordinated way.
Since then, the group has grown - Canada joined in 1976, the European Union was associated, and Russia joined in 1994, became a full-fledged member in 1998 - and the gatherings have become longer and larger. In this summit at Heiligendamm on the Baltic coast, the G-8 has invited five developing countries, Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Mexico, collectively known as 'outreach countries'. But still, at least in theory, it gives a chance for informal discussions between world leaders.
The primary focus of the group is to discuss things related to world economic development, but in recent years, many other things of global importance have been discussed with great fervor. The summit of 2005 at Gleneagles, Scotland, focused mainly on economic aid to Africa, the summit of 2006 at St. Petersberg, Russia, focused on global warming and Israel and Lebanon war and this year's summit is also focusing its attention on global warming.
The G-8 plus the outreach countries make it the world's largest organization in terms of human and capital resources after the United Nations. The G-8 countries share of world economic out put is nearly 60 per cent, if outreach countries are added it will be more than 75 percent. The United States has largest share in the world GDP, more than $10 trillion per year. China and India both are growing economies and growing at the rate of more than 8 per cent per annum, faster than all other countries of the G-8. Russia is recovering very fast under the leadership of Putin and its share in world GDP now stands over $1trillion. It is emerging as a global leader in energy resources. France, Canada, UK, Japan all are developed economies. Brazil and Mexico are two developing Latin American countries.
All these are modern industrialized states and in the process of their modernization, their economic development, environment has been affected considerably. Jared Diamond, in his 2005 book, "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed,' says ecological devastation brought down earlier failed ones citing one or more proximate causes:
' deforestation and habitat destruction;
' soil degradation through erosion, salinization or fertility decline;
' water management problems
' over-hunting and/or fishing;
' over-population growth;
' increased per capita impact on the environment; and
' the impact of exotic species on native plant and animal ones.
In the present globalized industrial states, the earth is getting warmer day by day. The burning of fossil fuels and other green house gases is causing: