EW DELHI, Nov. 1 — An international
conference on climate change concluded here today with the
adoption of a declaration that sidestepped any future
commitments by developing countries to curb the emission of
the gases that cause global warming.
Within a decade, countries like China, Mexico and India are
collectively predicted to surpass industrial nations in their
releases of these gases. But climate agreements so far have
exempted the poorer countries from obligations to reduce the
release of greenhouse gases.
After two days and a night of negotiations, the wording was
a victory for the developing countries, which fought hard to
ensure that the declaration did not include any possible
future measures they might have to abide by. The European
Union, by contrast, had pushed for language on future
reductions in the production of greenhouse gases.
In essence, the final document, the Delhi Ministerial
Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development,
says each poor country should develop its own "appropriate"
strategy to reduce emissions according to its own capacity,
rather than being bound by an international consensus. In the
meantime, the declaration said, the focus should be on
adapting to climate change as much as trying to prevent
Building on principles laid down in Johannesburg in August
at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development,
the declaration reiterated that economic and social
development and the eradication of poverty are the priorities
of developing countries.