Mexican President hopes Republicans change on climate
CANCUN, MEXICO: Mexican President Felipe Calderon says he can understand why U.S. voters in an economic crisis turned to the opposition party, but he hopes the Republicans will eventually accept the need to protect the planet's climate for "new generations."
"I hope they can realize sooner or later how important it is for the future," Calderon said Monday. At the same time, in an implicit criticism of China, the Mexican leader also spoke of poorer nations taking a "radical" position against any legally binding commitments to rein in their emissions of carbon dioxide and other industrial, transport and agricultural gases blamed for global warming, something he said Mexico is willing to do.
Calderon met with The Associated Press after Monday's opening of the annual negotiating conference of parties to the 193-nation U.N. climate treaty. Mexican warships patrolled off the beaches as Calderon's government, in a bloody struggle with drug cartels, threw a thick security cordon around the sprawling hotel zone in this Caribbean resort for the two weeks of talks.
The diplomatic effort to impose stronger controls on global warming gases has been stymied in recent years by friction between the two biggest emitters, China and the United States. The U.S. has long refused to join the rest of the industrialized world in the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 climate treaty adjunct that mandated modest emissions reductions by richer nations. The Americans complained it would hurt their economy and it exempted such emerging economies as China and India.
The Chinese, for their part, have resisted pressure from the U.S. and others in recent years to take on binding commitments not to reduce, but to limit the growth in their emissions, saying they were still too poor to risk slowing down their economy. Many Republicans dismiss scientific evidence of global warming, and fought against Democratsponsored energy legislation the past two years. -Ap