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Malaysian Trade Minister tells Australia APEC member nations prefer Kyoto approach: Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Hong Kong and China agree

Posted by gmarkets on 18 September, 2007

Foreign policy analysts point out that none of the objecting developing nations believes it owes Australia any favours. • Howard wrote to APEC leaders in March, nominating clean development (CO2 dumps) and climate change as the focus of discussions;

• In June, he appointed Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Michael L’Estrange as his special envoy to promote the initiative.

Sydney Declaration shot full of holes: The draft Sydney Declaration was soon leaked, and some of the APEC nations began to talk about their doubts on targets. By the middle of the APEC week, several of the 21 APEC member nations, including mighty China, the Association of South-East Asian Nations bloc and the Latin countries, had made it clear they had reservations about the draft. They preferred the Kyoto approach, with binding targets that entailed deep cuts for developed nations such as Australia and the US, with little required from developing nations, reported The Australian (8/9/2007).

Silly old Australia: The first bomb was hurled by Malaysian Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz. “It is unfortunate that people who are talking about climate change, like America, are not even members of the Kyoto Protocol,” she said. “If you want to talk about climate change, please join in with the rest of the global community to make commitments about managing climate change.” Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Hong Kong and China soon lined up to air their objections. A series of intense meet-ings through the week tackled the subject.

Bali the thing, Sydney a side-dish: “We are meeting here on the eve of an international conference in Bali,” says Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda. “Understanding the diversity within APEC, we realistically cannot ex-pect that we will make decisions that pre-empt the outcome in Bali.”

• Climate-change experts from each of the member nations were drawn into meetings. South Korean Foreign Ministry official Kim Chan-woo says nations questioned the energy intensity mooted in the draft;

• Hong Kong’s Environment Protection Department’s deputy director Carlson Chen says any climate-change agreement should recognise nations’ capabilities:

• Chinese President Hu Jintao appeared to rule out APEC targets on Thursday, and backed a Sydney Declaration that committed APEC nations to working inside the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change;

• China wants developed nations to take the lead on cutting emissions. Hu said he hoped the Sydney Declara-tion would give “full expression to the principles set in the convention, namely the common but differentiated responsibil-ities”.

The Australian, 8/9/2007, p. ?

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