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Bali: what China says the U.S. says about climate change

As befitting its power and greenouse gas emissions, the U.S.

As befitting its power and greenouse gas emissions, the U.S. has been the center of much of the coverage of the U.N. conference on combatting climate change. That conference is now in its final stages with the most powerful participants showing up for closing talks.

Here's how the Chinese news agency sees the Americans' position. The Associated Press reports the U.S. has succeeded in stopping any united move toward mandatory emissions levels for nations. Further the U.N. Secretary-General today told the conference they should back off such ambitious goals as those put forward by the European Union, which wanted definite lower emission levels to be reached by 2020. Japan has been supporting the U.S. stance.

Here's what the Chinese report as a U.S. delegate's position: "Paula J. Dobriansky, undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and head of the U.S. delegation to the ongoing UN climate change conference said that Washington is committed to doing its part in combating climate change effort.

'A post-2012 arrangement must be environmentally effective and economically sustainable," she said, adding that "we must also develop and bring to market clean energy technologies at costs that countries can justify to their citizens.'

The ongoing U.N. climate change conference is tasked with laying out a roadmap for negotiations on a new climate deal before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. 'Emissions are global and the solution, to be effective, will need to be global,' she noted. She said the United States proposed a future arrangement contain mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing."

Here's the Voice of America report on the U.N. Secretary General's speech. Here's the Bloomberg report. Here's an Italian news service report. The U.N. is obviously getting good press for saying all its instllations and acitivites are going to be carbon neutral as soon as possible. Among 180 nations at the Bali conference, three have pledged to go carbon neutral: Norway (which its immense oil wealth), New Zealand which has almost no fossil fuels anyway, and tiny Costa Rica in Latin America. Everybody should expect CR to reach the goal first. They're already a world leader in conservation efforts and a major destination for eco-tourists. Just think how much energy they save not having an army or an air force.