Friends of the Earth queried the value of a new pact on climate,expected to be launched tomorrow (Thurs), which it said will effectively mean business as usual and on-going climate change.

Friends of the Earth International
Press Release
Wednesday 27th July 2005

The deal between the US, Australia, China, India and South Korea, to be known as the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, will look to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than having specific targets.
According to news agency reports, the United States will announce a deal tomorrow (Thursday) with representatives from the other four countries at the Association of South East Asian Nations Regional Forum in Laos.
The partnership, established through secret talks over the last few months, has been led by the US . Neither the US nor Australia have signed the Kyoto Protocol and are the only major global polluters not to take on legally binding targets. It is not yet clear which technologies are being considered or if any new financial support will be available for their development.
The new deal stands in contrast to the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol, the only existing international agreement on climate change. Ratified by 140 countries, the Protocol establishes legally binding targets, achieving reductions in the first commitment period, of 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. Talks on future progress under the Treaty will take place in Montreal later this year.
Friends of the Earth’s International Climate Campaigner Catherine Pearce said:
“The role and detail behind this new pact is unclear, but it looks suspiciously as though this will be business as usual for the United States . A deal on technology, supported by voluntary measures to reduce emissions, will not address climate change. This is yet another attempt by the US and Australian administrations to undermine the efforts of the 140 countries who have signed the Kyoto Protocol
Friends of the Earth said that governments in the US and Australia had failed to take action on domestic emissions.
Catherine Pearce continued:
“We have already seen the efforts of President Bush in Gleneagles blocking agreement from the G8 countries to take genuine action. We cannot afford for such a partnership to intervene in the crucial next stage of Kyoto negotiations and kill off attempts for tougher action post 2012.”
Friends of the Earth expressed concern that this deal might focus new attention to unsustainable technologies such as nuclear and carbon capture and storage over sustainable and renewable energies.

For more information contact in london ( UK )
Catherine Pearce +44 20 7566 1723 (m) +44 7811 283 641