The US, Australia, China, India and South Korea, and possibly some more Asian countries, are to sign up to their own emmissions controlling programme. Radio news reports this morning suggested that Japan is one of those others, the only Kyoto signatory that is party to this agreement. Whilst I want to believe that this is a step forward I can’t help but think it’s a sop to their coal and other industries.

Details of the new pact have so far remained under wraps; but there are indications that it will focus on technology transfer, probably with an emphasis on cleaner ways of burning coal.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the four biggest producers of coal in the world are China, the United States, India and Australia; so it is unlikely that these nations would come up with an agreement to reduce the production and use of coal.
But will this be enough to curb climate change? Environmental groups are sceptical.

“It’s part of the Bush administration’s strategy to prove that the technological approach is the answer to global warming,” the director of WWF International’s Climate Change Programme, Jennifer Morgan, told BBC News.

“You only need to look at the way that emissions are going to see that’s not the case.”

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