Sunday, November 9, 2008

UN seeks broad Obama role on climate

BEIJING - November 9, 2008 - The head of the UN climate change body has called on the United States to take a more active role in fighting global warming once Barack Obama becomes president.

"With President-elect Obama, my hope is that the US can take on a leadership role and help to move the negotiations forward," said Yvo de Boer, executive director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

He spoke at a UN-sponsored climate change conference in China's capital that concluded yesterday. The meeting focused on technology transfers between nations, including setting up public-private partnerships that could help developing countries pay for improved energy systems.

Another UN conference is set for early December in Poland, at which countries will begin negotiations for a climate change accord to succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The United States rejected the Kyoto accord, arguing that it would harm American business and made no comparable demands on emerging economies. China, India, and other large developing countries signed the accord but refused to accept a binding agreement they said would limit their development and ability to ease poverty at home.

Obama has said he wants to make the United States a leader on climate change and reengage with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent treaty of the Kyoto accord. He said he plans to introduce emissions caps to the United States and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
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