US to Push Nuke, Hydrogen Power at Meeting
NEW YORK — U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman will meet with officials from five Asia-Pacific countries in Australia next week in a U.S.-led pact promoting technology such as nuclear energy and hydrogen that could cut greenhouse gases, an aide to the official said on Friday.
China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia are the other members of the group, called the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. The group meets January 11-13.
The pact falls outside of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming that went into effect earlier this year.
Countries in the Asia-Pacific partnership account for more of the world’s emissions and population that those in the Kyoto pact.
The United States and Australia pulled out of Kyoto saying it would hurt their economies and it unfairly left rapidly growing developing nations without emissions limits. Kyoto seeks to lower emissions of heat-trapping gases through mandatory limits and timetables.
Bodman will speak with the other ministers about energy efficiency, carbon sequestration, hydrogen and next generation nuclear power, said Anne Kolton, an aide to the secretary.
The U.S. Department of Energy has engaged Japan and South Korea, among other nations, to develop future nuclear power plants known as Generation IV nuclear.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been scheduled to attend the meeting, but she canceled the trip because of concerns over the condition of critically ill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said officials informed of the decision on Friday.