Just talk, no promises at Asia Europe meet
leaders from 25 European and 13 Asian nations have adopted a declaration to fight global warming, among other things, at the sixth Asia-Europe Meeting Summit held at Helsinki on September 10-11, 2006. The summit is one of a series of meets held every two years since 1996. The leaders undertook to do their best to fight global warming, but sidestepped any decision on emissions targets beyond the 2008-2012 period, at present covered by the United Nations Kyoto Protocol. Environmentalists, however, see this declaration as nothing but regular rhetoric.
Representatives of 38 nations said they were "committed to ensuring a successful outcome to (the) discussions on further commitments' and to ensure that there is no gap between commitment periods, but made no commitments. The summit also sought to nudge emerging Asian economies to adopt cleaner technologies to limit greenhouse gases and urged European countries to share energy-saving technology.China, India and other emerging Asian countries have been unwilling to consider mandatory limits on their greenhouse gas emissions, saying they do not want to stifle economic growth to solve a problem they say is caused by developed countries.
Asked about their willingness to accept mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions, South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun and Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stressed on their willingness to adopt alternative energy sources but avoided a direct answer on mandatory caps. "We are looking into various plans for the conservation of energy, and in the next few years we hope that we will be able to reduce the consumption of average energy by 10 per cent,' Roh said.
Greenpeace, an ngo, said the climate declaration was too vague. "There are no timetables, or concrete content,' said Mikael Sjovall of Greenpeace. "Words are fine but what is needed is commitment about how to implement this on the ground in each member country,' he added.