by Staff Writers
Inhotim, Brazil (AFP) Aug 26, 2011
Brazil, South Africa, India and China called 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.
China's climate change minister Xie Zhenua called for greater cooperation from industrialized countries at the next UN climate conference scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 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 added.
European Union and US leaders have however already warned that there will 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 last December 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 United States, 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 five percent by a 2008-2012 timeframe compared to 1990.
Washington was one of the chief architects of the protocol but never ratified the treaty.
Former president George W. Bush said Kyoto was fatally flawed because it does 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 CO2 emissions, which hit record levels in 2010.
Japan, Canada and Russia have said they will not sign up for a new round of carbon-cutting vows.
The European Union (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 the Protocol be renewed in its current form.
The host of the upcoming UN conference, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and India's deputy environment minister J.M. Mauskar also participated in the meeting at Inhotim.
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Japan enacts key bills, clears way for Kan to go
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 26, 2011
Japan's parliament enacted two key bills on Friday, clearing the way for the promised departure of embattled Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The upper house passed into law a bill on promoting the use of renewable energy and another on issuing deficit-covering bonds, the last of the conditions Kan had set for his resignation. The unpopular 64-year-old leader is expected to announce his resigna ... read more
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