Climate-Change Targets Dropped Ahead of APEC Summit

14/11/2009 15:18


SINGAPORE -- Pacific Rim leaders have dropped the idea of committing to specific cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions for a region that accounts to roughly half of world trade, a Chinese official said Saturday.

Putting a concrete target for carbon-emissions cuts in the final statement of the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum was controversial and could have hindered future climate-change talks, said Foreign Ministry official Yi Xianliang.

APEC's backpedaling in climate change may come as a blow to the troubled United Nations talks on climate change, where hopes have evaporated of a binding global agreement next month in Copenhagen.

But Yi, counselor at the ministry's Treaty and Law Department, told reporters that APEC isn't a venue for climate discussions and that the 21-member grouping would achieve its mission if it successfully voices the leaders' willingness to negotiate.

"To take the target out is a decision by all the members," Yi said.

An earlier version of the APEC leaders' communique, seen by Dow Jones Newswires, said global emissions will need to "be reduced to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050."

Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss climate change when the American leader visits China from Sunday, Yi added.

—Wynne Wang contributed to this article.

Dow Jones Newswires