Thursday, December 01, 2005

Montreal Talks Increasingly Limited by Lack of US Engagement

China has urged the US to sign up to Kyoto. The US with 300 million citisens emits more greenhouse gasses than china which has a population nearer 2000 million! The US emmits more than 12 tonnes CO2 per person, compared to less than a tonne per person in China.


MONTREAL -- China, one of the world's major polluters, urged the United States Wednesday to join the Kyoto treaty, rejecting arguments that the pact is flawed because it fails to restrict emissions by developing countries.

China's Sun Guoshunis said his country was already cutting the polluting emissions, adding that it was unfair to expect China and India -- with the world's largest populations -- to ask their impoverished people to cut back on energy consumption.

"We really feel pity that the U.S. has not yet and is not going to join the Kyoto Protocol, not only because of the size of its total emissions, but also because of its higher per-capita emissions," Sun, director of the Department of Treaty and Law at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in an interview.

He spoke during the first meeting of the 140 countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol since it was signed in 1997 and went into effect in February.

More than 8,000 environmentalists, scientists and government officials were attending the 10-day conference in Montreal.

Harlan Watson, the senior climate negotiator for the State Department, said Washington would not be party to any agreement with legally binding targets. "There's more than one way to address climate change," Watson said.

The United States is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.


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