APEC leaders focus on climate change

Sept. 8, 2007 at 5:06 PM

SYDNEY, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Australia Saturday agreed to try to improve energy efficiency in their countries by at least 25 percent by 2030.

The declaration signed in Sydney at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting does not set an overall target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard and U.S. President George Bush, whose countries have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, pushed for the declaration, the ABC reported.

Howard and Bush were criticized by leaders from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries, who want climate talks to be held within the framework of the United Nations, the ABC reported.

Howard insisted the declaration will add to the momentum of future international meetings focused on climate change. "It's a very important milestone in the march towards a sensible international agreement on climate change," Howard said.

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