US to press G-8 to include India, China in climate change combat regime

June 19th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 19 (IANS) US President George Bush would push the G-8 group of industrialised nations for a new climate change combat regime that includes China and India working together with Europe and the US for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One of the reasons that Bush rejected the Kyoto Treaty was “that I don’t care what you do in terms of US and European emissions, if China and India are not part of it you’re not going to make any progress”, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday.

“We now are working toward a framework in which countries like China and India could be included,” she said in an address to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, describing Kyoto as a framework that was not going to work.

The Kyoto Protocol linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing GHG emissions. The US has not ratified the protocol.

“But it’s, frankly, not going to be a one-size-fits-all kind of approach, because if you tell China or India that they have to stop growing in order to deal with greenhouse gas emissions, they’re not going to do it,” Rice said.

But “if you tell them that we can together, for instance, harness technologies to deal with coal fires, harness technologies to deal with the fact that the Chinese are building coal plants at a very, very rapid pace, clean coal technology and others, then you are going to get the Chinese and the Indians brought into a regime,” she said.

“And so the president has had an approach that talks about the major economies, which include China and India working together with Europe, with the United States, to have a programme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions over a period of time, with perhaps a goal for doing that,” Rice said.

“He will press that case at the G-8 when he goes to Japan,” she said. The G-8 countries hold a summit July 7-9 in the Japanese mountain resort of Toyako.

“We have already got a headstart on that, because we developed an Asia Pacific clean energy partnership with China, India, the United States, Australia involved in it, South Korea involved in it,” Rice said.

Rice said US had “found a China that is very much amenable to cooperation on these issues, but not at the expense of the growth of its economy, and certainly not with a kind of one-size-fits-all approach that would strain its economic growth.

“And so I think that the approach the president has taken, and I believe is now being embraced by much of the world, will bring China and others into a framework that would allow us to address this in a sensible way,” she said.

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