India, China must for climate change solution: Bush

July 6th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By Arun Kumar
Washington, July 6 (IANS) President George W. Bush said Sunday he would be “constructive” in G8 talks on climate change but insisted that the issue cannot be solved unless fast-growing China and India agree on long-term emission goals. “I’ll be constructive. I’ve always advocated that there needs to be a common understanding and that starts with a goal,” Bush said at joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in Toyako, Japan, according to the White House.

“And I also am realistic enough to tell you that if China and India don’t share that same aspiration, then we’re not going to solve the problem,” he said ahead of the annual summit of the Group of Eight (G8) rich nations starting Monday on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

India, China and 12 other countries will join the regular members of the G8 - the US, Japan, France, Britain, Germany, Canada, Italy and Russia - for parts of the summit with climate change high on its agenda.

But with political logjam over the India-US nuclear deal broken in New Delhi, how to take the landmark agreement forward is expected to dominate the discussions between Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when they meet Wednesday on the sidelines of the summit.

Bush is looking forward to the meeting with Manmohan Singh Wednesday at 7.40 a.m. local time, White House officials told reporters aboard Air Force One on way to Chitose, Japan.

The leaders will again meet some 50 minutes later as part of a “working breakfast” that Bush will have with Representatives of the Outreach Group that includes India.

“The president looks forward to good discussions, not only with leaders of the G8 but also with those of so-called outreach group including India, China, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, South Korea and Indonesia, besides the seven African nations,” said Dan Price, assistant to the president for international economic affairs at the White House.

“It is a very, very full agenda. There are issues of development and disease, poverty alleviation, issues related to the global economy, protectionism, the Doha Round, investment liberalisation, oil prices,” Price added.

“There are issues relating to food security and food prices. There are issues relating to climate change. There’s a series of political and security issues relating to counter-terrorism and non-proliferation, as well as regional challenges with respect to Zimbabwe, North Korea, Burma, Sudan, Middle East, Iran, and a host of other issues facing these leaders,” Price said.

On the issue of climate change, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said the US had “been able to lead an effort where all the major economies are still at the table, and they’re speaking with one voice, in terms of we need to work together to solve a problem.

“It is our shared responsibility and our shared solution that will help get us there,” she said.

“When it comes to specifics about how each country is going to do that, that’s a little bit harder,” said Perino noting that “other countries are starting to grapple with it, including countries like India and China.

“And so we will continue to talk about it, we’ll represent our interests, and we will continue to make sure that India and China and other developing nations are at the table,” Perino said.

“One thing that we have realised - that we have been able to get people to realise over those past years, that if you don’t have them, you’re not going to solve the problem anyway, because it’s a global problem of global emissions,” she said.

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