16 biggest polluters meet on climate

Representing the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, delegates from 16 major economies have gathered in Washington in the latest step toward forging a new global climate-change accord, the Associated Press reported. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of state, said the United States would work tirelessly for the pact, which should require China and India to reduce their emissions.

“There is no sense in negotiating an agreement if it will have no practical impact in reducing emissions to safer levels,” Clinton told the conference participants. “So we all have to do our part, and we need to be creative and think hard about what will work in order for us to achieve the outcomes we hope for.”

The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate was announced in March by President Barack Obama and includes the countries responsible for 75% of the global emissions of heat-trapping gases.

While China has surpassed the United States as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, 15 to 25% of its emissions are generated by manufacturing goods for export. Chinese leaders have said they want importers to be responsible for their share of the emissions. India, which is in the top five global polluters, has said its main priority is economic growth to end poverty, while switching to clean energy.

Clinton said it was possible to have both a robust economy and control climate-changing pollution. “Of course each economy represented here is different,” she said. “And some, like mine, [are] responsible for past emissions, some for quickly growing present emissions. But people everywhere have a legitimate aspiration for a higher standard of living. … We just hope we can work together in a way to avoid the mistakes that we made that have created a large part of the problem that we face today.”

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