U.S., Australia deny climate deal threat to Kyoto
VIENTIANE (Reuters) – The United States and Australia said
on Thursday that a new six-country pact to combat global
warming by developing technology to cut greenhouse gases is not
a threat to the existing Kyoto Protocol.
“We are not detracting from Kyoto in any way at all. We are
complementing it,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of state Robert
Zoellick told a news conference on the sidelines of an
Asia-Pacific security forum in the Lao capital, Vientiane.
“Our goal is to complement other treaties with practical
solutions to problems,” Zoellick said.
Alexander Downer, foreign minister of Australia, which like
the United States has refused to ratify Kyoto, said the
proposed Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and
Climate could sit happily alongside existing deals to curb
“This is not to be seen as a competitor to the Koyoto
Protocol,” said Downer, who will host the group’s inaugural
meeting in Adelaide.
China, India, Japan and South Korea are the other members
of the partnership, which encompasses nearly half the world’s
roughly 6 billion people.
A Chinese spokesman said called the pact a “win-win
solution” for developing countries.
The United States and Australia are the only developed
nations outside Kyoto, which demands cuts in greenhouse
emissions by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. Both say
Kyoto is flawed because it omits developing states.