US plans climate change talks in Washington

March 29th, 2009 - 4:51 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, March 29 (DPA) The US has invited 16 other major economies and the UN to Washington to prepare for international efforts to reduce climate changing greenhouse gas emissions.
The White House said Saturday it would ask the countries’ leaders and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send representatives to Washington April 27-28 for the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to prepare for UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen set for December.

The Washington meeting is also designed to “facilitate a candid dialogue among key developed and developing countries” and advance efforts to develop clean energy, the White House said.

The list of invitees includes China and India, countries left out of the Kyoto Protocol and from which US President Barack Obama has said he wants to see tough commitments.

Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and the UN are also invited. Denmark is also included as host of December’s talks.

Obama’s administration Sunday will enter the complex world of global climate talks at a two-week meeting in Bonn, Germany, kicking off the advance work for Copenhagen. The talks come amid a furious debate back home about whether the US should be placing limits on the pollutants that cause global warming.

Obama’s team will be pointing to some immediate policy shifts by the administration that environmentalists have hailed as a dramatic change from former president George W. Bush.

The government’s Environmental Protection Agency this week advised the administration that global warming could already be regulated under existing US clean air laws, and earlier this month said it would require US companies to report on their emissions levels for the first time.

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