Group of Eight

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Group of Eight (G8)
Founded 1994
Headquarters Varies

The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the governments of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Group ministers meet throughout the year and the member states meet at an annual summit meeting.

In the summer of 2008, 17 major economy leaders held a summit in Japan to advance shared objectives of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, contribute to ongoing negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and identify actions to be taken immediately.[1]

The G8 has no headquarters, no permanent staff or budget. The country that holds the presidency is the host country for the G8 summit of that given year and has the responsibility of paying for all costs associated with it.


In 1975 the French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing initiated the first meeting of what would become G7 at Château de Rambouillet - a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris. Leaders from six countries attended, including France, forming the Group of Six 9G6). Canada joined a year later, causing it to become the Group of Seven.

Since 1977 the leader of the European Commission has also been invited to the summits. Initially, the G7 primarily discussed macroeconomic issues and global development trends, but current political issues were later added to the agenda.[2]

In 1994, at a summit in Naples, Russia was added to the Group of Seven (G7) countries, effectively forming the Group of Eight (G8).[3]

Russia was suspended from G8 in 2014 following the nation's illegal annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, causing it to go back to using the moniker G7.[4] Three years later, in 2017, Russia announced that it would be permanently stepping away from the group. A spokesperson from the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, said that Russian sovereign Vladimir Putin's new priority was G20, a group of countries that includes Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.[5]


A 2012 summit meeting of G8 is scheduled to be held from May 15 to May 22 in Chicago.[6] The annual G8 meeting tends to attract a large number of protesters, and city officials began gearing up in winter of 2012 to handle the protests, including the potential of an appearance by the Occupy Wall Street movement.[7]

G8 leaders on July 8, 2008 agreed to a carbon emissions cut of at least 50 percent by 2050 and commitment to the principle of mid-term reduction or stabilization targets. Their offer was taken to eight big non-G8 countries – including China and India. The Financial Times reported that agreeing at the summit to set a goal of halving emissions by 2050 was likely to be President George W. Bush's final contribution to the climate change debate.[8] Only the U.S. and Russia held out against adopting the target in 2007, making the co-operation by Presidents George W. Bush and Dmitry Medvedev a significant move forward.[9]



  1. Fact Sheet: The Major Economies Leaders Meeting. The White House.
  2. The Group of Eight. Civil-G8.
  3. Backgrounder - Russia's participation in Group of Eight. People's Daily Online.
  4. Ukraine crisis: Russia scathing about G8 suspension as fears grow over build-up of border troops build-up. The Independent.
  5. Russia announces plan to permanently leave G8 group of industrialised nations after suspension for Crimea annexation. The Independent.
  6. Chicago to host NATO, G8 summits in 2012. ABC Local.
  7. NATO/G8 Security Measures Proposed. NBC.
  8. Bush Agrees to Target on Greenhouse Gases.
  9. Hosts Relieved as Guests Warm to a Theme.