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Rich Countries Must Bear Cost Of Reducing Carbon Emissions

British foreign secretary: Rich Countries Must Bear Cost Of Reducing Carbon Emissions

The Associated Press – Published: February 26, 2008

SHANGHAI, China: Rich industrialized nations must help the developing world pay for a shift to cleaner technologies to fight climate change, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Tuesday during a visit to China’s financial center.

Major developing nations such as China and India will face a devastating “boomerang effect” of devastating effects from global warming such as drought and crop disruptions if they do not opt for cleaner, less polluting economic development, Miliband told students at the China-Europe International Business School.

Adapting energy technologies that emit fewer of the greenhouse gases viewed as a main contributor to climate change “does not sacrifice development but … it is much more expensive than high-carbon development,” he said.

“The question is, who pays for it?” Miliband said. “The richer countries have got to lead in taking the burden of paying for the shift to a lower-carbon economy.”

Scientists believe carbon dioxide is one of the leading contributors to global warming.

China, which chiefly relies on heavily polluting coal to fuel its surging economy, now rivals the United States as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Britain backs calls for industrialized countries to help the developing world cope with the consequences of centuries of pollution by the West.

Last month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged about 50 million pounds (US$98.3 million; €66.3 million) to support investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean coal and carbon dioxide capture-and-storage technology during his first state visit to China.

China has pledged to improve energy efficiency, while insisting on its right to pursue the economic growth needed to supply jobs to its 1.3 billion people.

For the poorest countries, the focus should be on promoting sustainable development, Miliband said.

“Their aid programs have got to be ‘greened,'” he said.

Miliband was to travel to the southwestern industrial hub of Chongqing before heading to Beijing later in the week.

During a stopover in Hong Kong, he said Monday that he would discuss the issue of Sudan with his Chinese counterparts, but added that Beijing alone should not be held responsible for trying to end the conflict there.

“We all have our responsibility to use our weight in the country and in the international arena to argue for dialogue, for responsibilities on both sides.”

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