09.06.07 Forbes.com

SYDNEY (Thomson Financial) – China supports APEC moves to tackle climate change but the ‘main channel’ for international agreement on the global problem should be the United Nations, President Hu Jintao said Thursday.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has made climate change a key item at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and hopes to push leaders towards a declaration here which would set goals on energy efficiency.

But the 21 member economies remain sharply divided over the issue and will not accept Australia’s current draft, which urges developing nations to do more to tackle the problem.

Hu said China took the issue of climate change very seriously and was happy it was being brought up here, but said discussions on a solution needed to be led by the United Nations.

He said he hoped a Sydney declaration ‘will give full expression to the position that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should remain the main channel for the international effort to tackle climate change.’

‘And it should also give full expression to the principles set in the convention in the problem of the differentiated responsibilities.’

Some developing economies have said they are opposed to binding targets which would hamper their economic development.

Howard would not comment on reports that the 21 APEC economies remained so divided on the issue.

‘I will wait for the meeting to hear the views of the other economies,’ he said.

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