From: Ingrid Melander, Reuters
Published December 2, 2007 03:52 PM

Rich countries urged to come clean on climate change

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Rich countries must clean their own act to convince developing countries to join the fight against climate change, Nobel Peace Prize winner Rajendra Pachauri said on the eve of the international Bali conference.

Delegates from about 190 nations are gathering in Bali on Monday for to try to launch new negotiations on a long-term agreement to fight climate change.

"The first thing that the rich countries should do is set their own house in order and start reducing emissions," Pachauri, the chairman of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change told Reuters.

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"Secondly they have to find means by which they can assist the developing countries ... there has to be a serious effort to transfer technology."

The Indian scientist, whose committee shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore this year, said developed countries needed to prove that they were ready to take up more responsibility than poorer ones on global warming.

"China and India are feeling that what the developed countries were supposed to do has not been done," he said. "At this point in time, given that China and India have much lower per capita emissions, they are certainly not going to agree to any restrictions."

Pachauri expected the United States -- which has not ratified the Kyoto protocol on emissions caps -- to take a constructive approach in Bali.

"I have a feeling that the Unites States will allow the negotiations to proceed smoothly, and this will be true of all the other countries as well," he side in the sidelines of a conference in Brussels, before heading to Bali.

Pachauri said the European Union was taking the lead in the fight against climate change and also commended Australia's prime minister elect Kevin Rudd's decision to ratify Kyoto.

The Bali meeting, with 130 environment ministers attending the final days, will try to launch formal negotiations ending with a new U.N. climate pact in 2009.

"The outcome would be satisfactory in my view if it comes up with the decision to negotiate an agreement and comes up with a timetable for the negotiations," Pachauri said.

(Editing by Giles Elgood)

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