APEC Leaders Adopt Sydney Declaration on Climate Change
12 Sep, 2007 10:12 am
In a declaration issued Sunday, APEC leaders agreed to curb global warming by improving energy use and expanding forests. Here Dr Jimin Zhao, an expert on energy and environmental policy, answers Scitizen's questions.
The 21 countries signed a voluntary agreement. It is a non binding target to reduce energy intensity by at least 25% by 2030.
Considering this is a voluntary agreement, would you say that it is a step forward or a step backward?
I know that there are some critical reviews or comments about this target but I think that it is a step forward. It provides some insight for the upcoming international climate change negotiations in Bali in December. It is a good thing to me.
It is very important for the success of the Kyoto Protocol or the success of the climate change efforts. It may not reduce the total emissions because developing countries continue to develop their economy, but it will reduce energy intensity, that means energy consumption per unit of GDP.
Right now there are different views between developing countries and developed countries. Developed countries want to limit the total emissions but developing countries think that they have the right to develop. It is just very difficult at that moment to have a binding agreement or a target to really reduce the total emissions for developing countries.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard declared that the leaders of the APEC summit had charted a new international consensus. What is your opinion?
The US and China are not in the binding agreement to really reduce CO2 but this is the first time that they both sign an agreement. It is a good start to have the US and China at the same table and sign the same agreement because in the end the climate change efforts need both the US and China who are the largest CO2 producers.
Jimin Zhao is a researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University