WASHINGTON – Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Friday the United States will propose by July a new plan to curb global warming, which will differ from the Kyoto Protocol, by seeking the participation of developing countries, as well as industrialized nations.
Armitage outlined the proposal in a meeting with a delegation of the Japanese government and ruling coalition, which traveled to Washington to urge the U.S. to remain committed to the Kyoto Protocol after President George W. Bush’s announcement that he is pulling out of the landmark 1997 treaty.
According to delegation members, Armitage said Washington will come up with the new framework in time for an international conference on global warming to be held in Bonn, Germany, in July.
The U.S. is looking for a new approach that covers all nations, Armitage was quoted as saying. He repeated Bush’s recent comments opposing the pact, which was negotiated and signed in December 1997 to expedite international efforts to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide.
If ratified, the pact will require the world’s industrialized countries to impose binding limits on emissions of carbon dioxide.
Bush says his administration does not support the pact because it exempts 80 percent of the world, including such CO2 emitters as India and China, from compliance. He has also said ratifying the pact would harm the U.S. economy, which is showing signs of slowing.
In an apparent reference to the U.S. Senate’s 95-0 vote against ratifying the Kyoto pact, Armitage was quoted as saying that its replacement should be an agreement that can garner broader American domestic support.
The new framework should also make use of new technology, he said, apparently underscoring the need to lessen businesses’ economic burden in compliance. Bush recently has instructed his Cabinet secretaries to review the U.S. policy on climate change.
Armitage assured the Japanese delegation that whatever framework emerges from the review, the U.S. will consult with Japan and other leading nations before formally announcing it, the officials said.
Japanese Senior Vice Foreign Minister Kiyohiro Araki, who is leading the delegation, said at a news conference that the mission urged the Bush administration to craft any new strategy to address global warming within the existing framework of the Kyoto Protocol.
The delegation includes House member Hiroshi Oki of the Liberal Democratic Party, who chaired the 1997 U.N. conference on climate change in Kyoto as the head of Japan’s Environmental Agency.
Under the Kyoto pact, the U.S. would have to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and certain other polluters by 7 percent from 1990 levels by 2012.
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