W.House voices concerns on future climate talks
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House voiced "serious concerns" on Saturday about future negotiations to fight global warming while praising a deal to launch a new round of international climate talks.
Nearly 200 nations agreed at U.N.-led talks in Bali to begin discussions on a new climate change pact after a reversal by the United States allowed a breakthrough.
The countries approved a "roadmap" for two years of talks to adopt a new treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, the main existing plan to fight global warming, beyond 2012.
While calling many parts of the Bali deal "quite positive," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the United States "does have serious concerns about other aspects of the decision as we begin the negotiations."
Negotiators "must give sufficient emphasis to the important and appropriate role that the larger emitting developing countries should play," Perino said.
Washington has stressed that any agreement must include all countries with high greenhouse emissions, including fast-growing China and India, which were exempt from the Kyoto requirements. In 2001, President George W. Bush refused to sign the Kyoto pact.
"It is essential that the major developed and developing countries be prepared to negotiate commitments, consistent with their national circumstances, that will make a due contribution to the reduction of global emissions," Perino said.
The United States is the leading greenhouse gas emitter, ahead of China, Russia and India.
While acknowledging the reality of global warming, the Bush administration has opposed specific targets to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide -- spewed by coal-fired power plants and petroleum-fueled vehicles -- arguing that this would hurt the U.S. economy.
The White House on Saturday praised provisions in the Bali deal recognizing the importance of developing clean technologies, financing deployment of the technologies in developing nations and addressing deforestation, as well as others.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Eric Walsh)