German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging developed countries to join forces to battle global warming, but says she is doubtful that industrialized nations will reach a consensus to do so at a summit in June.
Ms. Merkel's comments came Thursday in an address to the German parliament.
She said she wants the Group of Eight summit participants -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S. and Russia -- to agree on steps to curb carbon emissions that would set the stage for an extension of the 1998 Kyoto Protocol. That treaty, which set concrete goals for reducing emissions, expires in 2012.
The German goals face strong opposition from the United States, which refused to sign the 1998 treaty.
U.S. opposition stemmed in part from concerns the protocol did not include binding targets for developing countries.
Ms. Merkel said helping Africa overcome poverty is the other main challenge for the summit.
The German leader, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency, also vowed that G8 nations will honor pledges made at a 2005 summit to increase aid to Africa.
She urged African leaders to pursue far reaching economic and political reforms. She strongly criticized Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe for his deteriorating human rights record, and cited recent election chaos in Nigeria.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.