APEC Leaders Agree to Take on Global Warming

But pact isn't ambitious enough, critics say
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2007 11:24 AM CDT
A police officer directs other police to form a line to hold back protestors who have gathered near a Sydney hotel, Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, during a demonstration against the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim nations yesterday pledged to “slow, stop, and then reverse” greenhouse emissions, at the annual APEC summit. The group—which includes developing nations and top emitters Russia, China, Japan, and the US—could influence UN climate change negotiations. But critics call the pact unambitious, citing a lack of goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental experts said in practical terms the agreement “will mean almost nothing.” It includes a 25% energy intensity reduction by 2030, but the AP reports most economies are already meeting that pace. The other tangible goal was to increase forest land by 50 million acres by 2020. The standards apply to all countries, unlike Kyoto's provision exempting developing nations.