Major Economies Forum Meeting Helps Lay Groundwork for New International Framework for Cutting Carbon, Says EDF

April 19, 2010


Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, 202-365-3237,
Tony Kreindler, National Media Director, 202-445-8108,

(Washington D.C. – April 19, 2010) Nations participating in the Major Economies Forum that ended here today reaffirmed their interest in moving forward on actions that could lay a foundation for a new international framework on cutting carbon emissions, according to Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“These countries recognize that the first to seize the initiative will have the strongest advantages in the race for the low-carbon economy of the future,” said EDF’s International Counsel Annie Petsonk.

Actions that have put some nations in the forefront of international efforts include: Brazil’s decision to reduce emissions from deforestation, its largest source of carbon pollution; voluntary emissions cuts offered by nations under last December’s Copenhagen Accord; and state-level actions linking California and other U.S. states with emission reduction efforts in provinces in Brazil and Indonesia, the world’s third and fourth largest emitting countries.

Petsonk noted that by 2012, China will have opened 42 high-speed train lines, technology and infrastructure now found primarily in Europe and Japan.

“China’s recent offer to bring its high-speed rail expertise to the United States underscores the need for the U.S. Senate to move swiftly to pass climate and energy legislation to ensure that America holds its rightful place in the economic revitalization of the 21st century,” Petsonk said.

With more high-level ministerial meetings scheduled within the next few weeks, Petsonk added, “The rapid succession of high-level talks on climate change in various forums demonstrates the growing focus on the need for action.”

The next ministerial meetings will be convened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Petersberg, Germany from May 2-4 and by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Oslo, Norway on May 27. High-level talks among Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) concluded last week in Brasilia, Brazil. The UN Climate Treaty Parties are expected to conduct a ministerial meeting shortly after their next round of talks in Bonn, Germany, in June.

“Having the climate talks proceed in May in several international forums presents challenges, but it also creates opportunities for coalitions to emerge among nations that move swiftly to embrace carbon regulation and position themselves for clean economic growth,” Petsonk said. “That competition presents an even greater imperative for the Obama Administration to make a serious push now for a balanced energy-climate bill in the U.S. Senate.”