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At Davos, Japan and Denmark set climate goals, say US, China, India must be part of new treaty
Switzerland World E 5820899
Irish musician Bono, right, greets Japan's Prime Minister, Yasuo Fukuda, left, Saturday Jan. 26, 2008 at the start of a meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. - photo by Associated Press
    DAVOS, Switzerland — The United States, China and India must be part of the follow-up treaty to the Kyoto Protocol and agree to cut carbon emissions, Denmark’s prime minister said Saturday. Japan’s leader offered them a bold strategy for doing it.
    Climate change returned to the fore at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, where Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda proposed a 2020 deadline for countries to boost their energy efficiency by 30 percent. He added that Japan would try to spread its high-quality environmental technology around the world.
    Fukuda said the U.S., China and India alone can cut an amount of CO2 emissions equal to the total amount Japan releases into the atmosphere each year, if only they match his country’s efficiency for power plants.
    ‘‘The most efficient use of energy is now an obligation upon humanity,’’ Fukuda told the meeting of 2,500 business and political leaders. ‘‘The whole world must make efforts to maximize the improvement of energy efficiency.’’
    Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, whose country will host a key climate meeting in December 2009, told The Associated Press that the goal of the meeting was clear: getting the U.S., China and India to participate in the follow-up treaty to Kyoto, which expires in 2012.
    The exemption of developing nations from the Kyoto Protocol’s mandatory caps has long been a key complaint of American opponents to the U.N. climate treaty process.
    The 1997 pact requires 36 industrial nations to reduce carbon dioxide and other industrial, transportation and agricultural gases blamed for global warming by an average 5 percent below 1990 levels in the next five years.
    The U.S. is the only major industrial nations to reject Kyoto. President Bush contended the emissions cuts would harm the U.S. economy, and should have been imposed on China, India and other fast-growing poorer economies.
    ‘‘All the main emitters of greenhouse gases should participate in this climate agreement, including the United States, China and India,’’ Fogh Rasmussen said. ‘‘That will be the real challenge. To get all main emitters on board.’’
    The comment seemed aimed squarely at China, a developing nation with an economy that is soon expected to zoom past Germany’s to become the world’s third biggest, after the United States and Japan.
    China also now generates a large share of the world’s greenhouse gases — some experts say it has overtaken the United States as the world’s No. 1 emitter.
    In a series of reports last year, a U.N. network of scientists warned of severe consequences — from rising seas, droughts, severe weather, species extinction and other effects — without sharp cutbacks in emissions of the industrial, transportation and agricultural gases blamed for global warming.
    Meanwhile, with fears of a global recession growing, trade ministers from about 20 countries met to see if they could advance long-stalled global commerce talks that proponents say could boost a troubled world economy and lift millions out of poverty worldwide.
    The talks, officially on the forum’s sidelines, came a day after U2 frontman Bono, Queen Rania of Jordan, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and other prominent speakers at the World Economic Forum demanded that people and businesses everywhere help reduce poverty for ‘‘the bottom billion’’ — who struggle to survive on less than $1 a day.
    A deal in the so-called Doha round of trade talks could be one way to improve their fortunes. It aims to cut tariffs and slash subsidies in global manufacturing and agriculture, with a particular emphasis on helping poorer countries harness globalization to develop their economies.
    Rich countries also would benefit through new export opportunities and better rules for global commerce, according to the blueprint agreed to in 2001. The round, however, has repeatedly stalled and missed countless deadlines as a result of fierce battles between the United States, the European Union and other rich nations, and emerging powers such as Brazil, China and India.
    Swiss Economics Minister Doris Leuthard said ministers hoped to meet again in April to negotiate on new World Trade Organization compromise proposals.
    Fukuda also outlined the agenda for the July summit in Japan of the Group of Eight wealthiest nations, which he said would focus on the world economy, climate change and African development.
    ‘‘The risk of the global economy taking a downward turn is increasing,’’ he said. ‘‘We do need to have a sense of urgency as we engage in coordinated actions while each country also implements necessary domestic response measures.’’

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