An air of compromise broke through the simmering dispute over greenhouse gas limitations at the G8 Conference on Thursday.

Just as it seemed there would be little agreement between Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President George Bush, the leaders, and their G8 counterparts, emerged with a plan in which cutting back greenhouse emissions by 2050 would be preserved as a goal if not a hard and fast commitment.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the agreement a huge step forward and appeared in smiling photo ops with President Bush. Ms. Merkel has long championed the idea of getting the world’s top industrial nation’s to agree on limitations, though she had wanted to make the emissions reductions mandatory.

The agreement conceded to Bush, who has resisted strict deadlines for greenhouse gas emissions. It also endorsed his plan to engage China and India, among other high polluting nations, in a series of meetings later this year to set national emissions goals.

Environmentalists and pundits are just beginning to weigh in. Read more at:

The New York Times

ABC News

— By Barbara Kessler

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