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 user 2005-07-27 at 11:17:00 am Views: 49
  • #12231
    New climate plan ‘to rival Kyoto’
    The US and Australia are developing a new pact on climate change with a group of Asian countries, believed to include China, India and South Korea.

    Australia’s Environment Minister Ian Campbell said that details would be announced “in the very near future”.

    That could be as soon as Thursday, in a speech due to be given by US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick.

    It is believed the pact will focus on technology transfer from industrialised nations to the developing world.

    Australia and the United States are the two major industrialised countries which have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, claiming it would damage their economies.

    Both countries also criticise the treaty on the grounds that it does not include major developing countries such as China and India.

    ‘Something better’

    At a news conference in the West Australian capital Perth, Minister Campbell told reporters that Kyoto could not achieve the level of greenhouse gas reductions which the majority of climate scientists believed were necessary if climate change was to be kept within manageable bounds.

    “We’re going to have a 40% increase in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, and the world needs a 50% reduction,” he said.

    “We’ve got to find something that works better.”

    We’re going to have a 40% increase in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, and the world needs a 50% reduction
    Ian Campbell, Australia’s Environment Minister
    Details of the new pact have so far remained under wraps; but there are indications that it will focus on technology transfer, perhaps with an emphasis on cleaner ways of burning coal.

    According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the four biggest producers of coal in the world are China, the United States, India and Australia; so it is unlikely that these nations would come up with a pact to reduce the production and use of coal.

    The final plan of action from this month’s meeting of G8 leaders made reforming fossil fuel power stations a priority. And Ian Campbell gave strong hints of an emphasis on technology.

    “We need to expand the energy the world consumes and reduce the emissions,” he said in Perth.

    “That’s going to need new technologies; it’s going to need the development of new technologies and the deployment of them within developing countries – we need to engage developing countries, we need to develop technologies which can be developed in Australia and exported around the world.”

    It is believed that details may emerge on Thursday during the Regional Forum of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), held in the Laotian capital Vientiane.

    Mr Zoellick is scheduled to speak at 1030 Laotian time, and US officials have hinted that he will be announcing an environmental initiati