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Developing nations bring own agenda, demands to summit

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ROME — Negotiations grew more complex Thursday at the Group of Eight summit in L’Aquila, Italy, as developing nations joined discussions on crucial issues such as climate change and the global economy.

The G8 negotiations expanded on the second day of the summit to include delegations from China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Egypt in the morning session. Later Thursday, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia and Denmark were set to join the group as the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, or MEF, was to take place.

But chances of finding common ground over greenhouse gas emissions appeared slim, with reports that developing countries remain discontent with the modest targets for developed countries proposed in Wednesday’s G8 statement.

During a news conference Wednesday by the Group of Five developing countries invited to the summit, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that emerging economies recognize the obligation to protect the environment but climate change “cannot be addressed by perpetuating the poverty of the developing countries.”

Emerging powers have also called on rich states to provide financing to address the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and heat waves.

Although the G8 agreed to an 80 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a Foreign Ministry official said the pledge was made on the premise that MEF members and other nations concur that the world must halve its emissions by that year.

Food security will also be one of the top items on the agenda at the expanded meeting, with Singh saying that “agriculture and food security need to be placed at the core of the international agenda, paying particular attention to the concerns of small and marginalized farmers.”