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China Rejects Binding Targets On Greenhouse Emissions

The Europe-Asia meeting (ASEM) of foreign ministers was held in Hamburg.
by Staff Writers
Hamburg (AFP) May 29, 2007
China on Tuesday promised to "do its best" on fighting climate change but rejected calls that Asia should sign up to binding targets on cutting carbon emissions. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said China and other Asian nations cannot bear the same responsibility for restricting greenhouse gas emissions as the developed world.

"The developed world should do more but China will do its best," he said at the closing press conference of the Europe-Asia meeting (ASEM) of foreign ministers in Hamburg that brought together top diplomats from 43 countries.

"We believe that in fighting climate change we should have a common goal but differentiated responsibilities," Yang added, quoting from a declaration adopted at the meeting.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who hosted the event, confirmed that Europe and Asia had failed to agree on the need to set global, binding restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions after 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol runs out.

"There were disagreements on setting binding targets," Steinmeier told the press conference.

The showdown on how best to fight global warming comes just a week ahead of the Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, to which Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited both China, India and other leading emerging nations.

The G8 member states are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Together, India and China will by 2015 produce more greenhouse gases than the United States and Merkel has warned that a new pact to replace Kyoto would be doomed unless they signed up.

China is a signatory of Kyoto, the first international agreement on slashing emissions, but it has so far been exempt from binding targets because it is a developing nation.

India said on Monday it would not be tied to emission targets because this will slow economic growth and hinder its efforts to lift a large part of its population out of poverty.

The Asian stance comes as another setback for Merkel on the environment after Washington rejected parts of a draft declaration which she wants G8 leaders to adopt at the June 6-8 summit.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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US And Australia Reject Asia-Pacific Carbon Trade Scheme
Darwin, Australia (AFP) May 29, 2007
Hopes for an Asia Pacific-wide carbon emissions trading scheme were dashed Tuesday as APEC energy ministers met to discuss climate change and the region's booming power needs. The United States and Australia ruled out a regional carbon trading scheme before the meeting officially opened in the northern city of Darwin, saying it was too early to impose uniform targets on APEC nations.

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