Developing nations resist Australian move

Developing nations resist Australian move

Sydney: Developing nations led by China and South-East Asian states are resisting efforts by the US and Australia to forge a new framework for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, diplomats said on Wednesday.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has put climate change high on the agenda of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit here, proposing a new approach that would veer away from the Kyoto Protocol, the main treaty on climate change.

Australia and the US have rejected Kyoto on the grounds that it did not commit developing countries such as China and India to the same sort of emissions cuts as industrialized nations.

Howard has proposed a ‘new template’ calling on developing nations to do more to cut their own emissions. This was opposed by developing states, who accuse Australia of undermining the Kyoto accord and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Indonesian trade minister Mari Pangestu said targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions should be set under the UN framework.

“So whatever we talk about here... these must be complementary to the UN processes. It cannot be instead of the UN processes," she said.

Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer summed it up: “Hopefully, through Apec we will be able to make some progress in changing the paradigms of how the whole issue of climate change is addressed, but I have no illusions of that being easy."