Obama launches major economies climate forum
Washington — President Barack Obama Saturday launched a Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to give a boost to a historic agreement on climate change facilitated by the UN.
Leaders from the 16 major economies are to participate in a "preparatory session" on April 27-28 in Washington to "help generate the political leadership" for successful climate change negotiations December in Copenhagen, the White House said in a statement.
The forum, the White House added, would encourage "a candid dialogue" between developing and industrialized countries and help "advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions."
Denmark, which is hosting a UN meeting in December to create a new agreement on global warming to replace the Kyoto Protocol, and the United Nations were also invited.
The preparatory sessions would conclude with the Major Economies Forum Leaders’ summit, to be hosted in July by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in La Maddalena, Italy.
The 17 major economies are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
UN talks were to resume in Bonn on Sunday with some 190 countries participating to reach a new pact for curbing greenhouse gases beyond 2012, when Kyoto Protocol provisions expire.
The climate treaty was rejected by the US Congress in 1997 because it did not impose commitments on developing countries.
Obama’s announcement came ahead of a Group of 20 economic crisis summit in London on April 2, for which he would embark on his first major foreign trip as president, with other stops planned in France and Germany for a NATO summit, the Czech Republic for an EU/US summit and an onward trip to Turkey.