Bush calls climate change talks

US President George W Bush has announced that his government will host a multinational conference on climate change in Washington next month.

The US has invited the UN, EU and 15 of the world’s leading economies to the high-level talks on 27-28 September, the White House said in a statement.

The talks will seek to set the stage for an agreement by 2008 on a long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists say the accumulation of such gases is causing global warming.

Mr Bush had first proposed the conference on 31 May, shortly before the G8 summit in Germany.

‘Global framework’

In his invitation, Mr Bush said the US was “committed to collaborating with other major economies to agree on a detailed contribution for a new global framework by the end of 2008”.

This would then contribute to a global agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by 2009, he added.

The US has invited representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the UK, as well as the European Union and United Nations.

A White House spokeswoman told the AFP news agency that Mr Bush had invited several EU member states separately “to make sure that these leaders, who have shown great leadership and interest on the issue of climate change, are represented as well”.

The conference will be hosted by the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

At the G8 summit in June, Mr Bush agreed to make “substantial” but unspecified cuts in emissions and to negotiate a framework to seek a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol by the end of 2009.

No mandatory target was set for the cuts.

Source: bbc.co.uk