Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Emerging powers press rich nations on emissions cuts

AFP, INHOTIM, Brazil

Brazil, South Africa, India and China called on Friday on industrialized nations to step up their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a key UN climate summit later this year.

“We demand that industrialized countries set more meaningful objectives toward CO2 reductions than what they have presented up to now,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota told a meeting in Inhotim, Brazil.

The bloc of four emerging market countries “has done a lot to combat climate change and presented ambitious objectives,” Patriota said.

Chinese Minister of Climate Change Xie Zhenua (謝振華) called for greater cooperation from industrialized countries at the next UN climate conference scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9.

“We want to deepen the dialogue with developed nations so that a joint effort for the Durban conference will yield satisfactory results and equality for all parties,” he said.

However, EU and US leaders have already said that there would be no binding deal on emissions at this year’s climate summit in South Africa.

The key issues for participants ahead of Durban are how to bring timid agreements reached in Cancun, Mexico, in December last year to life and whether or not to extend the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only international agreement with binding targets for curbing greenhouse gases and expires next year.

Its future is uncertain because China and the US, the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 polluters, are not subject to its constraints.

Agreed in skeletal form in 1997 and implemented in 2005 after agonizing talks over its rulebook, Kyoto commits 37 advanced economies to trim six greenhouse gases by an overall 5 percent by a 2008-2012 timeframe compared with 1990.

Washington was one of the chief architects of the protocol, but never ratified the treaty.

Former US president George W. Bush said Kyoto was fatally flawed because it did not require developing giants, already major polluters, to take on similar constraints.

European countries are generally on track for their emissions reductions, but Canada is poised to miss its target by a wide margin. At the same time, emissions by China, India, Indonesia and Brazil have rocketed — nations bound by Kyoto account for less than 30 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, which hit record levels last year.

Japan, Canada and Russia have said they will not sign up for a new round of carbon-cutting vows.

The EU says it will only do so if other nations — including emerging giants such as China and India, which do not have binding targets — beef up efforts in a parallel negotiating arena.

Developing countries, though, insist that the protocol be renewed in its current form.

The host of the upcoming UN conference, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Indian Deputy Minister of Environment J.M. Mauskar also participated in the meeting at Inhotim.

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