India, China must for effective climate change accord: Bush

July 3rd, 2008 - 10:06 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By Arun Kumar
Washington, July 3 (IANS) US President George W. Bush says he would discuss with India and China how to make major economies part of a common strategy to deal with the issue of climate change at next week’s Group of Eight (G8) summit. “Look, we can’t have an effective agreement unless China and India are a part of it. It’s as simple as that,” he said Wednesday at a White House briefing on his trip to Japan for the eighth and final G8 summit of his presidency.

Bush said he would be meeting leaders of major economies to discuss shared strategies and practical actions for addressing greenhouse gas emissions as part of the US proposed “Major Economies Process” endorsed by G8 leaders at Heiligendamm, Germany, last year.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders of four other major economies - Brazil, China, Mexico and South Africa - would be attending the July 7-9 summit besides G8 members - the US, Britain, Russia, Japan, Germany, Canada, France and Italy.

“All this is aiming, by the way, to develop a strategy in which major economies are a part of the strategy,” he said. “I’m going to remind our partners that’s the case. And we want the United Nations Framework Convention to be effective. And so we’ve got to reach common ground on how to proceed.”

Bush said he would remind the world leaders of the pledges made to help developing nations address challenges, from health care to education to corruption. “Now we need to show the world that the G8 can be accountable for its promises and deliver results.”

On the food issue, he said the US would make available nearly $1 billion in new resources to bolster global food security. “Once again I’ll be going to the G8 and talking about the great compassion and concern of the American people in addressing problems.”

On the stalled World Trade talks, Bush said the US was firmly committed to Doha. “We’re working hard to get this done by the end of the year and it will be a good opportunity in Japan to discuss what we need to do together to open up market access and to reduce agricultural subsidies,” he said.

“We will work to tear down barriers to trade and investment around the world.”

In talking about energy security and the climate change issue, the president said: “I’ll be reminding people that we can have better energy security and we can be better stewards of the environment without sacrificing economic growth.”

“We’re making some progress there, including the knowledge that we’ve got to have a long-term emissions reduction goal, midterm goals with national plans to achieve them, and cooperation in key industrial sectors,” Bush said

Asked about the outlook for getting an agreement with the emerging economies to limit emissions in the midterm, he said the first step was to agree on a long-term goal. “Hopefully we can do it at this meeting. If not, we’ll continue to press forward to get it done.”

“The idea is to say, look, we want to be effective. Effectiveness comes when major economies come to the table,” Bush said.

At a separate briefing on the summit, his key adviser on the climate change issue, said the “more essential aspects of the discussion with major economies actually centre on each nation’s development of their own midterm plans and goals, and the structure by which those can be reflected in a new international agreement.”

“That goes to the core of what we’re going to do now and in the mid-term,” said James Connaughton, chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality.

In support of that, the US had also initiated conversations about shared sectoral approaches focused on the best outcomes that each of the nations can achieve.

“We do some things really well in America that aren’t being done in India right now. If India can replicate that, they can make further progress on emissions. So this is a very practical set of conversations on pushing for best practices in key emitting sectors,” he said.

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