October 3

Climate change meet ends without pact


NEW DELHI: The two-day international conference of environment ministers and officials from 40 countries concluded on Tuesday with little movement towards a compromise from the earlier stated positions.

It is meant to clear the way for the worldwide summit on implementing the UN agreement on checking climate change, scheduled here for later this month.

The developing countries are, as usual, pressing the developed ones to do various things to check emissions into the atmosphere, without the former having to do likewise. Some developed countries agree with this in principle, but others, led by the US, don’t.

India’s environment minister T R Baalu, who was the host at the two-day meeting and will be so at the coming world summit, said that he was confident about a positive outcome, However, he brushed aside all queries on why this should be so. "All the developing countries will be obliged to act once we adopt a protocol...We shall prevail on the US...diplomatic drive" he maintained.

Meanwhile, the US special negotiator on climate change, Harlan Watson, has said President George Bush’s climate change policy, announced in February this year, "commits the US to an aggressive new strategy to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to the size of its economy".

In a statement issued here, Watson added that the US would do this by cutting its GHG intensity by 18 per cent over the next 10 years. This, he stated, would set the US on the path to slow the growth of its GHG emissions and stop and then reverse the growth of emissions.