US, Australia willing to join talks on Kyoto accord replacement: UN official Nick Fiske at 6:00 PM ET
[JURIST] The executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UFCCC) [official website], said Thursday that the United States and Australia want to participate in negotiations for a new global agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol [PDF text; JURIST news archive], set to expire in 2012. The statement by Yvo de Boer [official profile] followed an informal meeting of world leaders in Bogor, Indonesia [press release] earlier this week in which the two countries - the only two Western industrialized nations to refuse to sign Kyoto - urged developing nations to join in efforts to stop global warming. Their comments were aimed specifically towards countries such as China and India who argue that such measures would restrict their growing economies. The US hopes the new negotiations will begin as early as this December, when the UNFCCC convenes in Bali [press release].
Both the US and Australia have faced intense criticism [JURIST comment] as a result of their opposition to the Kyoto pact, the first comprehensive international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developed and developing nations. Word of their willingness to join new climate change negotiations comes in a year filled with UN-sponsored discussions on the effects of global warming and only weeks after former US Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control [official website] received the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change" [press release]. AP has more.
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