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APEC finance ministers see need to ‘go beyond’ Kyoto

By AFP (Agence France Press) - August 3, 2007

APEC finance ministers Friday said that the world needed to “go beyond” the Kyoto Protocol to adequately address climate change.

The call came in a communique issued by the ministers following an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in the north Australian town of Coolum.

“Recognising the need to take strong and early action to address the challenge of climate change while maintaining economic growth, we considered the global architecture for addressing climate change and shared the view that it is important to establish an effective framework beyond the Kyoto Protocol under the UN climate change process,” the communique said.

The Kyoto Protocol, the landmark environmental treaty negotiated in Japan’s ancient capital, mandates cuts in the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. It expires in 2012.

Australia and the United States have refused to ratify the 1997 treaty, arguing it is unfair as it does not include emerging economies.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a former climate change sceptic, has flagged climate change as a major topic of talks at the APEC Leaders Week in Sydney in September and has announced a carbon emissions trading scheme will be developed here.

APEC’s finance ministers Friday said broad means of combating climate change needed to be employed.

The finance ministers also discussed energy security, increasing investment in Asia and recent global share market volatility over two days of talks on Coolum.