Climate change, energy security top APEC agenda
Asia Pacific economies are expected to discuss a common response to climate change and energy security at the annual summit of their leaders in Australia next month, an official said Wednesday.
Colin Heseltine, executive director of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum secretariat, said Australian Prime Minister John Howard has written to other leaders indicating his desire for a discussion on the issues.
"A major issue that has rapidly emerged at the top of APEC leaders' priorities this year is to develop a coherent regional policy response to... big challenges now facing APEC member economies: energy security and climate change," Heseltine said.
Energy security refers to the need to ensure long-term energy supplies.
Howard, who will host this year's summit in Sydney, "has written to his APEC counterparts indicating that he would like APEC leaders to consider ways in which APEC can support an emerging, practical consensus on a global framework for tackling climate change," Heseltine added.
Heseltine, a senior Australian diplomat who holds the secretariat's revolving leadership, was speaking at a forum in Singapore organised by the Australian Chamber of Commerce.
APEC's 21 member economies, stretching from China to Chile, account for 60 percent of global energy demand. Across the grouping, energy demand is expected to double by 2030, he said.
APEC includes the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases -- the United States and China. It also covers Indonesia, which by some estimates is the third biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, Heseltine said.