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Developing countries should take part in the effort to combat global greenhouse gas emissions in ways commensurate with their stage of economic development, Stuart E. Eizenstat, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, said Wednesday.

Eizenstat is visiting Tokyo for an informal, two-day, ministerial-level meeting about the Fourth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP4), which is to be held in Buenos Aires in November. The meeting starts today and will include delegates from 22 countries.

At COP3 in Kyoto, the third meeting of the convention last December, more than 150 signatory countries adopted a landmark protocol that sets legally binding targets for industrialized countries to cut the total volume of their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

The protocol specifically obliges Japan, the U.S. and the EU to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases by 6 percent, 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

At the fourth meeting, participants will further discuss how to achieve the targets agreed to in Kyoto and seek ways to increase participation by developing countries.

He also said that “meaningful participation by developing countries is necessary to address global greenhouse gas emissions effectively.”

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