The countries at the G-8 summit in
…negotiators for the world’s 17 leading polluters dropped a proposal to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by midcentury, and emissions from the most advanced economies by 80 percent. But both the G-8 and the developing countries agreed to set a goal of stopping world temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels.
However, negotiators did agree to limit temperature rises to fewer than 2 degrees Celsius. Bradford Plumber, at The New Republic has more. In addition to the impasse on emission targets, the negotiators failed to agree on what the baseline year for calculating emission targets is. The G-8 summit document states:
As part of this, we also support a goal of developed countries reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in aggregate by 80% or more by 2050 compared to 1990 or more recent years. Consistent with this ambitious long-term objective, we will undertake robust aggregate and individual mid-term reductions, taking into account that baselines may vary and that efforts need to be comparable. (italics mine)
By leaving open the option for the baseline year to be 1990 or any year after, then countries could cut their emissions percentage based off a year where their economies were strong.