Global warming measures missing in Doha

13th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

WELLINGTON, March 13, 2007 (AFP) - The struggling Doha Round of world trade talks lacks the necessary measures to curb global warming, French Trade Minister Christine Lagarde warned Tuesday.

WELLINGTON, March 13, 2007 (AFP) - The struggling Doha Round of world trade talks lacks the necessary measures to curb global warming, French Trade Minister Christine Lagarde warned Tuesday.

Lagarde has suggested putting the talks on hold, possibly to 2009, and said one of the reasons was a lack of measures to help tackle climate change.

"Shouldn't we be much more mindful of environmental issues?" Lagarde asked journalists during a visit to New Zealand.

She said the issue of climate change was "too marginal" to the Doha round of trade talks, which were struggling to meet a June deadline, when the fast-track negotiation powers of US President George W. Bush expire.

The fast-track authority allows Bush to present a single trade bill to Congress for approval or rejection, rather than allowing Congress to amend individual provisions of an agreement.

She said: "Climate change -- just like world global pandemics, just like weapons of mass destruction -- these are becoming global threats which cannot be tackled unless we reach global solutions and global consensus."

Lagarde said a pause in the Doha round would allow a re-examination of the whole negotiation process.

She said getting 150 countries to reach a consensus on trade talks was a Herculean task.

The WTO (World Trade Organisation) voting system could be reformed to allow voting to be weighted through various criteria, such as the size of the national economy, she said.

She said chances of a breakthrough before Bush lost his fast-track authority in June were remote.

But WTO chief Pascal Lamy was more optimistic about prospects for the Doha round Monday, saying in New Delhi that a breakthrough before the June deadline was "more probable than ever."

The Doha round ground to a halt last July. The EU and United States have been unable to agree on the size of cuts in agriculture subsidies and tariffs protecting their farm industries, while rich and poor nations are at loggerheads over trade in industrial goods and services.

Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

0 Comments To This Article