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The BBC's environment correspondent Roger Harrabin
"The EU mission has been highly successful so far"
 real 28k

Monday, 9 April, 2001, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
China and Japan support Kyoto treaty
Chinese car workers in Shanghai
China has cut greenhouse emissions since Kyoto
By Stephen Gibbs

A European Union delegation says it has won the support of China and Japan for the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, which was rejected by the United States last month.

The EU delegation, led by the Swedish environment minister, Kjel Larsson, is currently in Japan after talks in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Top CO2 polluters
US
China
Russia
Japan
India
Germany
China has already described President Bush's decision as irresponsible.

In Tokyo Mr Larsson said he discussed with Japanese officials how to salvage the treaty, which was signed in the Japanese city of Kyoto, four years ago.

Applying pressure

The EU representatives are on a world tour, hoping to convince other countries to ratify the pact without Washington.

They believe that getting enough countries to accept the treaty will put pressure on the US to drop its opposition to the accord.

Chinese support for the Kyoto protocol is crucial for its survival. It is the world's second-largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions - which many scientists believe contribute to global warming.

The Kyoto agreement aims to reduce the CO2 emissions of major industrialised nations by around 5% below their 1990 levels.

World's worst polluter

Now that China has, in principle, agreed to back the deal, the attention is once again on the world's number one polluter - the United States.


This is the only ball-game in town, and those who don't want to be a part of that say quite clearly that they don't want to be part of the solution

Swedish minister
Kjel Larsson

Speaking after the talks in Beijing, Mr Larsson took the opportunity to criticise the US position.

"There is no other alternative to the Kyoto protocol and process," he said.

"This is the only ball-game in town, and those who don't want to be a part of that say quite clearly that they don't want to be part of the solution to the most dangerous problems facing the future and the present."

And China's support for the Kyoto agreement may yet persuade the United States to change its mind.

US fears

The US has long cited China as one reason why it will not ratify the deal.

It believes that a rapidly-expanding Chinese industry - unrestrained by Western environmental controls - would represent a threat to American businesses and American jobs.

China's "support" for the agreement is a long way from actual implementation. But at a time when both the US and China are keen to portray the other side as the world's bogeyman, the pressure is once again on the Americans.

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See also:

07 Apr 01 | Americas
EU ready to renegotiate Kyoto
31 Mar 01 | Europe
Europe backs Kyoto accord
06 Apr 01 | Americas
EU seeks Moscow backing on climate
03 Apr 01 | Americas
EU defends Kyoto accord
30 Mar 01 | Americas
Kyoto: Why did the US pull out?
29 Mar 01 | Sci/Tech
US facing climate isolation
28 Mar 01 | Sci/Tech
Anger as US abandons Kyoto
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