July - December 2007

U.S., EU Propose Plan for Environmentally Friendly Trade as Part of Doha Talks
3 December 2007 - Bangkok Post
The United States and the European Union laid out a plan last Friday designed to aid the development of "green" technologies. The proposal would be executed under the auspices of the World Trade Organization and would reduce tariffs and other trade barriers on technologies and services designed to benefit the environment. Trade in this sector ran to around US$615 billion in 2006.
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Bali Climate Change Conference Opens December 3rd.
3 December 2007 - Sky News
A United Nations global conference on climate change begins in Bali, Indonesia on Monday December 3rd. It is hoped that the nation's gathered will agree on a plan to replace the Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in 2012. The divide between developed and developing nations is expected to be discussed, especially regarding their disagreements on what measures should be mandatory for all participating nations.
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U.S., Australia, Ready to Move Past Their Rejections of the Kyoto Treaty
25 October 2007- International Herald Tribune
Yvo de Boer, a climate change official for the United Nations, signaled on Thursday that the United States and Australia, the only highly-industrialized nations not to sign the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty, are willing to work constructively on a successor treaty, due to be finalized after Kyoto expires in 2012. The talks in Indonesia on Thursday are seen as a good precursor to larger talks which will take place in Bali in December of this year.
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Representatives of World's Largest Polluters Gather in Washington to Discuss Climate Change Strategy
27 September 2007 - Brian Knowlton for The New York Times
The United States hosted the world's biggest polluters, from both the developed and developing world, to discuss new strategies for combating climate change in anticipation of a U.N. conference in Bali in December of this year. The conference included representatives from international bodies like the European Union and the United Nations, as well as nationally from Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. Among the topics under discussion is the Bush Administration's climate change approach, which stresses partnerships with the private sector to develop technological solutions to pollution controls. Although several countries have criticized the United States for acting outside a UN framework, American officials stressed that their efforts, including holding this conference, should be seen as a complement to the efforts of the international community. Says Jim Connaughton, chair
man of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality: "The goal of our discussions here today is to do what we can to reinforce and to accelerate progress in the United Nations. (Read More)

APEC Issues "Sydney Declaration" on Climate Change
10 September 2007 - Korea Times
In the concluding act of the APEC Summit, the twenty-one member economies issued a declaration which it is hoped will serve as a basis for the renegotiation of the Kyoto Accords. Specifically, the Declaration calls for a 25% reduction in energy use by 2030 as well as an Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology. Although these energy reduction targets are voluntary, it is said to be significant that China has, for the first time, signed onto the same climate change consensus as the G8.
(Read more) For the full text of the Declaration, click here.

APEC Summit Focuses on Climate Change, Trade
September 6, 2007 - Bill Tarrant for Reuters
The twenty-one member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have been meeting in Syndey, Australia to discuss how to move forward on two divisive issues: climate change and trade. On the problem of climate change, many of the developing countries within APEC have complained about the approach taken by the U.S. and Australia, who want newly-industrializing countries to be held to the same standards as already-industrialized ones. Countries like China and Indonesia claim this policy would put them at a competitive disadvantage. On trade, China wants the current round of Doha World Trade Organization talks to be completed soon. Among the issues being debated are tariffs and agricultural subsidies, a point of contention between the developed and developing worlds.
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Merkel Proposes Emissions Plan Tied to Population
August 30, 2007 - Deutsche Welle
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while on a visit to Japan, made a bold proposal to link a country's efforts to cut CO2 emissions to its overall population and growth rate. Her plan is seen as a compromise measure wherein industrializing nations such as China and India would be allowed to increase their emissions per capita, while already developed nations - the G8 in particular - would cut their emissions per capita. According to Merkel's plan, when both per capita rates reach the same level, both industrialized and industrializing nations could then approach climate change from an equal footing. This plan is seen as ameliorating the concerns of India and China that they would have to sacrifice economic growth for climate regulation, especially when, as they see it, the industrialized world outputs significantly more than their fair share of C02. Merkel, coming off her hosting of the June G8 summit, was especially ocncerned to bring the EU's transatlantic partner, the United States, more into forumulating such plans:
"I think America will cooperate - America must cooperate. If we can't find a regulatory regime that is accepted by the USA, then China and India will never agree to reduction targets."

Germany and Japan agree to Climate Change efforts
August 29, 2007 - Deutsche Weille
While visiting Japan this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel complemented her counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his country's efforts to direct the G8's efforts toward combatting climate change. Next year's G8 summit due to be held in Japan. Merkel said at a joint press conference:
"We still expect difficult negotiations in the time leading up to the next summit hosted by Japan, and we expect the Japanese government to play a very important role,"  Merkel said at the press conference.
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U.S. and EU Views on Climate Change Said to be Converging
August 29, 2007 - International Herald Tribune
Harlan Watson, the chief U.S. negotiator at climate change talks in Vienna, Austria said that despite the original U.S. position on the Kyoto Treaty, there is a lot of common ground for the U.S. and EU to move forward on a new global emissions agreement in 2012. The United States says it is committed to working with the world's other large economies to address international agreements on emissions cuts. Among Watson's statements:
"Certainly we've disagreed with respect to Kyoto, but I'd point out the areas of cooperation ...There are probably more areas of agreement than disagreement on this."
"We've both recognized the importance of a global effort . . . I think we're coming closer and closer to understanding each other."
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U.N. Climate Change Discussions Center on Energy Investments
August 26, 2007 - AP/International Herald Tribune
1,000 delegates descended on Vienna, Austria on Monday to talk about how to make energy spending more environmentally reliable. The conference brought together representatives from nation-states, corporations, banks, and public institutions to strategize a response to a U.N. Report which states that US $210 billion will have to be spent world-wide to stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030. The discussions are part of the U.N.'s efforts to find a replacement for the Kyoto Treaty by 2012, when it is due to expire. The largest of these conferences will take place in December of this year in Bali, Indonesia.
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