US comes clean
- US comes clean
Publication date:08 August 2005
Some of the world's biggest producers of greenhouse gases have
unveiled plans to cut emissions by exporting new technology rather
than setting limits on their own industries.
The US, Japan, Australia, India, China and South Korea announced the
plans, which have been worked on secretly over the past year, at an
event in Laos.
They clear the way for the US and Australia in particular to export a
variety of renewable energy and pollution-reducing technologies to
developing countries, instead of cutting emissions themselves.
Areas of special focus will include nanotechnologies, advanced
biotechnologies and next-generation nuclear fission and fusion, the
six partner countries said.
They claimed it would allow the world to take action on climate
change in a way that does not interfere with any individual country's
According to a White House bulletin, the deal will aim to build on
existing co-operation between the six countries by promoting clean
coal use, expanding nuclear power programmes, promoting energy
efficiency and increasing the reliance on sources of energy other
than fossil fuel.
Partners in the project will also be expected to make progress in
areas such as methane capture, advanced transportation and liquefied
natural gas, as well as carbon capture and sequestration.
The aim is to focus particularly on developing countries and
encourage them to use new energy technologies. This means the deal
will also encompass rural and village energy systems for developing
countries as well as geothermal building and home construction and
the use of renewable energy sources.
The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is a
non-binding pact between the participating countries, which have
described it as complementing the Kyoto Treaty - which the US would
not ratify - rather than detracting from it.
China described the treaty as a 'win-win' situation. However, the
deal has been criticised by environmental pressure groups as being
nothing more than a way for the US to safeguard its own trade in new
technologies. They claimed that its voluntary nature will mean that
it has little long-term effect on climate change.
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