APEC leaders adopt pact on climate change

Updated: 2007-09-08 17:01

Sydney -- Asia-Pacific leaders agreed on Saturday to adopt a "long-term aspirational goal" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said.

APEC leaders pose for a family photoat the Sydney Opera House September 8, 2007. [Reuters]

Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members adopted a Sydney Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development, in support to United Nations' global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Howard said.

"We are serious about addressing in a sensible way, compatible with our different economic needs, the great challenge of climate change," Howard told reporters at the end of the first day of the APEC Leaders Meeting.

Howard announced four key components of the declaration.

He said "there should be a long-term aspirational goal for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions" to guide an effective post-2012 international arrangement on climate change.

"All economies should contribute to achieving that goal, taking into account national circumstances and allowing for a range of market-based policy measures," Howard said.

He also said that APEC will adopt regional goals to reduce energy intensity and increase forest cover. New technologies will support the actions towards the goals.

Under the declaration, the goals are to reduce energy intensity by at least 25 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level, and to increase forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares of all types of forests by 2020.

An Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology will be established to strengthen collaboration on energy research in the region.

Another regional network, Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation, for sustainable forest management and rehabilitation will be set up to enhance capacity building and strengthen information sharing in the forestry sector.

The measures also include low emissions technology and innovation, alternative and low carbon energy uses, trade in environmental goods and services, and policy analysis capability.

Founded in 1989, APEC has become a major regional forum acting as the primary regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic and technical cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.  

It has 21 members: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

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