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Asia’s rebound from the global economic slump is cheering the world with its promise of more growth, jobs and trade. But the revival is bad news for the environment because it is largely driven by a production and transport system addicted to fossil fuels, especially coal and oil. This helps explain why it is proving so difficult to bridge the gulf between developed and developing countries in negotiations leading to the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen in December.

It also helps explain why China and India, despite tensions over territorial and water disputes, agreed recently to work together to resist binding cuts or caps to their global warming emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) calculates that around 65 percent of these greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions worldwide come from energy use or production.

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