Article published on the 2009-10-10 Latest update 2009-10-10 14:05 TU
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (R) in Beijing on 10 October
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak met in Beijing on Saturday. Ahead of a global summit on climate change in Copenhagen later this year, they said they would “work closely together” to contribute to a successful conference.
More than 190 countries will gather in Denmark for the conference which aims to replace the Kyoto protocol that expires in 2012.
But in talks in Bangkok this week some nations called for a different approach whereby each country would make their own commitments.
And there is a divide emerging between countries such as China and India, who had no commitments under Kyoto, and more industrialised countries.
“There is a deep rift and a deep lack of trust between the rich and the poor countries,” says Kim Carstensen, from the WWF Global Climate Initiative.
“The poor countries really don’t trust that the rich countries are acting seriously on climate change, and the rich countries don’t trust that the poor countries are willing to do anything,” he added.
The lack of US commitment to the Kyoto protocol, which sets out a legally binding commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gases, means that leaders from across the world will be keen to put together an international measurable and verifiable agreement.
“We need to find other avenues to make sure that the US is integrated in a framework that is as binding and as committing for them, so that they provide a comparable effort to the rest of the world,” says Carstensen.
“If nothing happens it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to keep temperature rises below the danger threshold of about two degrees,” he added.