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U.S. to host major economies talks on climate change April 27-28

Mar 28, 2009 - The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will host a meeting on climate change and energy in Washington on April 27-28 to help facilitate a global agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the White House said Saturday.

Obama has invited representatives from 16 major economies to the preparatory session of the "Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate," to be followed by a summit in Italy in July, it said in a statement.

The new forum is the de facto continuation of the George W. Bush administration's Major Economies Meeting process of building a new regime to fight global warming beyond the Kyoto Protocol's expiration in 2012.

The White House said the new forum would promote dialogue among developed and developing nations on the issue, "and advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions."

The major economies are Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United States.

Denmark, which is hosting a key U.N. climate meeting at the end of the year, and the United Nations have also been invited to participate.

The 1997 Kyoto framework targets a minimum 5 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. China and other developing nations are not part of the agreement.

About 190 countries are seeking to adopt a new climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto framework at the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.