'Polluters' Summit: 'Industry will solve problem of global warming'

A A A

The US, China and four of the other largest-polluting countries yesterday opened a "counter-Kyoto" conference by declaring that voluntarily adopted technological advances could solve the problem of climate change. After the first day of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, the US Energy Secretary, Samuel Bodman, said that even without financial incentives, coal, gas and energy companies were capable of reducing harmful emissions.

"The people who run these companies - they do have children, they do have grandchildren; they do live and breathe in the world," Mr Bodman said at the meeting in Sydney.

But his assertions were challenged by environmentalists, who see the gathering as merely a fig leaf and a gimmick. The main purpose, the green lobby claims, is to divert attention from the refusal of the US and Australia to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol.

"The conference will fail unless it puts into place regulations and strong financial incentives for the industry to spend billions and billions of dollars on clean energy today," the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

Environmental groups insist the partnership should not focus on futuristic and untested technologies for the fossil-fuel sector - above all the coal industry - but instead direct resources to renewable and non-polluting sources, such as wind, solar and geothermal energy.

At last month's Kyoto talks in Montreal, the US was no less intransigent, committing itself in only the vaguest terms to further talks. Together the six Asia-Pacific partners - the US, China, India, Australia, Japan and South Korea - account for roughly half of the global economy.

In principle, the Asia-Pacific pact covers all "clean" energy technologies. In practice however, the focus is on coal. Mark O'Neill, head of the Australian Coal Association, said: "With global energy demand growing at a rapid rate, that demand can't be met without coal." But Mr Bodman did also stress the role of nuclear power. In the US no new nuclear station had been built for three decades, he noted. "Hopefully we can take care of business at home before we start preaching to others."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
tech
Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery assistants required across Cambridgeshire

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

SEN 1:1 Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a qualified teache...

SEN Teachers and Support Staff

£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher or L...

English and Media Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English & Media Teacher - ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week