The U.S. hosted climate meeting of major economies, which will be kicked off on Wednesday, could yet help to draft a new global-warming treaty, according to a report carried by The Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday.
The report said the developing countries and the developed ones have many disputes over clean-energy technologies and long-term emissions reduction goals while the United States was criticized for its negative role and actions.
Delegates from these countries in Bali last month angrily noted that developed countries are giving far less than they have pledged. Developing countries insist that they need the help to make the emissions reduction commitments - however limited - a new climate treaty might require, said the article.
U.S. President George W. Bush's efforts have met with some skepticism, especially after the first meeting last September which one senior environmental hand described as "Climate 101 when the rest of the world was in graduate school," it said.
One test of how serious the White House is about the process will come in discussions of future actions. And until now, the administration has emphasized actions it has already taken - setting an interim greenhouse gas "intensity" target for the U.S. economy, or the amount of emissions permitted per unit of GDP, pumping money into climate change research, and the recent adoption of mandatory fuel economy standards.
"The key question, however, is: What's next?" asked the report.
"I would find the effort much more serious when the U.S. government decides to put on the table what it thinks an appropriate near-term response and policy effort would be," Joseph Aldy, co-director of Harvard University's Project on International Climate Agreements was quoted as saying.
"At some point, we need to see the ideas the Bush administration has on both of these fronts," and in a quantifiable way, he added.
Representatives of 17 of the world's major economies, and biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, will meet in Honolulu, Hawaii on Wednesday to discuss how they can tackle climate change in the coming decades.
The idea of bring world's major economies for climate change talks was initiated by President George W. Bush in May 2007, when the United States was under growing pressure to contribute more to solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.
The broad concept of pulling major emitters together outside the U.N. process to better inform it is a useful one with a fair amount of support, Elliot Diringer, director of international strategies at the Pew Center for Global Climate Change in Arlington, Va, was quoted as saying.
Still, expectations "are not high," Diringer said. "As other government see it, this is not the means for cutting a final deal "on climate "nor is this the administration to cut it with."