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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 22:44 GMT
Climate meeting ignores targets plea
Environmental activists demonstrate in Delhi
Protesters wanted the Kyoto Protocol to be honoured
Delegates from developing countries have rejected Western demands to set themselves targets to reduce pollution that could cause global warming.

At the end of a 10-day meeting in the Indian capital Delhi, representatives from 185 countries signed the "Delhi Declaration" - but the document failed to compel poor countries to cut greenhouse gases.


The European Union is disappointed with the end result of the Delhi Declaration

Steen Gade, EU delegate
Speaking for the Group of 77 (G-77) poor countries, India said the economic advancement of developing countries should not be checked in order to prevent global warming.

The European Union expressed disappointment. The meeting was supposed to thrash out details of the 1997 Kyoto protocol coming into force next year.

A total of 96 countries have ratified the treaty, but the United States and Australia have not, saying it will harm their economies.

Compromise

The BBC's Adam Mynott in Delhi says although this meeting was not expected to take far-reaching decisions, it still exposed deep divisions between rich and poor countries.

Rich countries were demanding that poor countries begin negotiations on restricting greenhouse gas emissions to be effective for them only after 2012.

Poor countries led by India and China refused to make any commitments that could even indirectly limit their industrial development.

Green Peace protest banner in Delhi
Environmentalists initially targeted the US
At one stage, India's Environment Minister TR Baalu, who chaired the conference, had threatened to end the meeting without tabling a resolution at all if consensus did not emerge.

Mr Baalu said the compromise document provided "a new direction to our common approach to combat climate change".

But EU delegate Steen Gade said "it is clear to everybody in this room, and for the outside world, that the European Union is disappointed with the end result of the Delhi Declaration".

Poverty v. pollution

The Declaration stressed that the Kyoto provisions should be implemented by all signatories.

Poster
A demonstrator makes his point
"Parties that have recognised the Kyoto Protocol strongly urge parties that have not already done so to ratify the protocol," it said.

The document urges rich countries to help poor ones alleviate poverty, and offer both investments and technology to sectors like energy, transport, industry, health, agriculture, biodiversity, forestry and waste management.

It recognised Africa as the region suffering the most from the impact of climate change.


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