Tomorrow, leaders from 6 nations will meet in Sydney, Australia to discuss mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The group are a fascinating mix:
1. The United States, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases and a super power.
2. India and China, the most populous nations on earth and emerging super powers.
3. South Korea and Japan, members of an alliance that plan to build a $16 billion nuclear fusion reactor in the south of France. Fusion is what powers the sun.
4. Australia, the other Kyoto recalcitrant and a country with a lot of natural resources including coal and uranium.
Together these six countries account for about half the world’s GDP, population, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
They have already decided that arbitary emissions targets (a central plank of Kyoto) will not be on the agenda. Instead they want to focus on developing, promoting and sharing new technologies including nuclear, hydrogen, fusion and solar.
The theme for the meeting tomorrow was perhaps forshadowed by Quigqing Zhao, First Secretary, Chinese Embassy in Australia, in his address to a climate change conference in Canberra last April, click here for full text. He said,
In China’s school textbook, there is a sentence which almost all Chinese adults believe to be true and I think most children
between 10 and 18 can recite, that is “Science and technology
is the most powerful impetus to productivity”. If I were one
of the editors, I would propose to add one more sentence
somewhere in the text book, that “Science and technology is
the most reasonable way to address climate change”.
We need a new approach – a new focus. With just Kyoto, global emissions will be some 40 percent higher in 2010 than in 1990.
I wish the new Asia-Pacific Partnerhsip on Clean Development and Climate well in Sydney at their first official meeting tomorrow.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade outlines government policies on climate change and the new Partnership at its website, click here. For information on tomorrow’s meeting click here.