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Montevideo, October 17th 2017 - 22:00 UTC

Carbon emissions: “responsibility” lies with rich countries

Thursday, November 29th 2007 - 20:00 UTC
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The coming Bali climate conference faces a smoky beginnig The coming Bali climate conference faces a smoky beginnig

Days before a major international conference on climate change Brazil again insisted in its opposition to imposing targets on developing countries' carbon emissions arguing the main responsibility falls on developed nations.

A United Nations report recommended that developing countries cut their carbon emissions at least 20% by 2050 and rich nations should cut theirs by 80% over the same period. "We are not in favor of targets" Sergio Serra, a Foreign Ministry expert on climate change, told a news conference in the capital Brasilia. The United Nations hosts a climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia on December 3-14, which it is hoped will lead to negotiations on a new global pact to reduce carbon emissions blamed for global warming. Brazil is a developing world trading power and is gaining influence on environmental issues because of its pioneering bio-fuels program and global concern over the destruction of its Amazon rainforest. "The principle responsibility lies with the industrialized countries" said Everton Vargas, Brazilian Deputy Secretary for political affairs at the foreign ministry. "Our offer is to adopt verifiable policies at a national level to combat climate change, we have our own targets" Vargas added. Brazil has forged a common front with other developing nations in global trade talks but has less in common with them on environmental issues, analysts say. China is set to surpass the United States as the world's leading carbon emitter and, like Washington, has resisted pressure to set caps or specific targets on emissions. Brazil is a pioneer in low-emissions ethanol derived from sugar cane and most of its electricity is derived from clean hydropower. But it is also a large carbon emitter, due largely to the destruction of the Amazon forest. Tropical forests release stored carbon dioxide when trees are burnt or decompose. Brazil wants rich nations at the Bali conference to pay for poor countries to adapt to climate change. It also hopes for pledges of technology transfers to help coal-dependent countries, such as China or Mozambique, control emissions.

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