No Progress on Carbon Emission Cuts at MEF Meeting
    2009-05-27 18:59:37     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Jin
 
All participants at a meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF), which ended on Tuesday, failed to reach consensus on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Representatives of the European Union (EU), the United States and some developing countries that attended the second preparatory meeting of the MEF on energy and climate, had differences on the emission reduction quota.

French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, host of the two-day meeting, complained it was "unimaginable" that the biggest power, the United States, with carbon emissions twice that of the EU, was doing less than the latter.

Borloo said the U.S. wished to force carbon emissions basically back to the 1990 levels by 2020, but EU was targeting a 20-percent cut by 2020 over 1990.

He said that developed countries as bigger polluters, should deepen their cuts by 25 percent to 40 percent, especially the United States.

U.S. special envoy for climate change, Todd Stern, defended the U.S. attitude. He said fighting global warning had undergone a "seismic change" following the Obama administration taking office.

Stern told the media the U.S. was making progress, though it could not match the efforts of the EU. He said the Obama administration had included the development of clean energy and green technology its economic revival plan.

Despite the differences of the EU and the U.S. on emission reduction, China's endeavors won approval from both sides. Borloo told Europe-1 Radio on Tuesday he felt China is "absolutely determined" to make more cuts in emissions and is making great efforts.

Stern said the U.S. would like to closely consult with China on combating climate change in order to seek a tight partnership.

The Paris meeting, following the first round in Washington last month, was to prepare for the July MEF in Italy.

Considering four fruitless MEFs on the climate issue during George W. Bush's administration, it is now paramount that the developed countries take more action.

During the Paris meeting, 13 French nongovernmental organizations submitted a petition to French President Nicolas Sarkozy declaring that the developed countries have a compelling responsibility toward climate change.

The petition said developing countries were becoming victims of global warning therefore the developed ones should help them in addition to cutting emissions.

The petition also noted China's efforts to exploit renewable energy resources, such as promoting the use of wind power generators.

On Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a meeting in Copenhagen: "Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, I also believe it is the most potent game-changer for businesses over the next century. It is an opportunity we must seize."
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