China and India have led a revolt by five developing countries
to the target for emission cuts agreed this week by the G8
group of rich industrial countries.
The two rapidly-growing Asian countries have objected that
a cutdown in the use of fossil fuels would curb their economic
growth. Leaders from five major developing countries - China,
India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa - have made clear that
they do not endorse the call to them by the G8 call to share
its ''vision'' of a 50pc drop in greenhouse gas emissions
by 2050 (Click
They have, instead, adopted what they call a ''common,
but differentiated'' approach to addressing the issue
of global warming.
The five made clear that they did not accept numerical targets,
a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told reporters after
a joint meeting between the G8 and a number of other major
major economic powers, including the five rebels.
Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh is reported as saying
that economic growth must take priority over climate change
measures in developing countries such as his own. "The
first and overriding priority of all developing countries
is poverty eradication" - he said in a statement. "Sustained
and accelerated economic growth is, therefore, critical for
all developing countries and we cannot, for the present, even
consider quantitative restrictions on our emissions.''
Australia, Indonesia and South Korea, which were also at
the meeting, supported the 2050 target set by the G8, the
Japanese official said.
In the wake of the rebellion, European Commission President
José Manuel Barroso said that negotiations between
developed and developing countries over responsibilities towards
action to combat climate change "should not be seen as a dispute".
Mr Barroso said that the G8's adoption of a 50pc reduction
target by 2050 represented "significant progress". "It
is quite wrong to see this in terms of a confrontation between
developed and developing countries" - he said. "Of
course we accept the lion's share of responsibility, but this
is a global challenge which requires a global response."
Barroso also said that states must recognise that there is
"no contradiction" between economic growth and reducing
greenhouse gas emissions. "In the EU since 1990, the
economy has grown by 25 percent and we have cut emissions
by 8 percent. The science is there, the economic rationale
is there and public opinion demands action."