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PIA Press Release
2007/09/09

Pacific Rim leaders adopt Sidney declaration on climate change, energy security and clean dev't

Tacloban City (September 9) -- At the conclusion of the first of the two-day APEC Leaders' Meeting in Sidney, Australia, Pacific Rim leaders, including President Arroyo. Agreed to adopt long-term aspirational goals to reduce carbon emissions by enhancing energy use and accelerating reforestation programs which are exactly what the Philippines has been doing.

This is contained in the Sydney Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development which was adopted by the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Although it sets only non-binding targets, the Sydney declaration showed a compromise between rich and poor APEC member-economies in accepting measurable reductions of gas emissions and retaining United Nations framework as the primary framework to combat global warming.

The APEC leaders, in the declaration, said that the world needs to slow, stop and then reverse the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions.

To help reduce emissions, the APEC member-economies agreed to reduce "energy intensity," or the amount of energy needed to produce a dollar of gross domestic product, by at least 25 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level.

The other concrete goal was to increase forest cover in the APEC-wide region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020 to help absorb the greenhouse gases.

The new forest cover, if achieved, would store approximately 1.4 billion tons of carbons, equivalent to around 11 percent of annual global emissions.

Both are non-binding targets in keeping with APEC's voluntary, consensus-based approach.

The APEC leaders recognized that "economic growth, energy security and climate change are fundamental and interlinked challenges for the APEC region".

"The dynamism of APEC, underpinned by open trade and investment, has reduced poverty, improved living standards and delivered economic and social development," the statement read. "Our success has relied in part on secure supplies of energy, the use of which has also contributed to air quality problems and greenhouse gas emissions

Aside from climate change, the APEC leaders also tackled stalled World Trade Organization's Doha Round negotiations and are expected to call for further conventions to have an early successful conclusion of the talks. (PIA 8) [top]

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