India Joins Anti-Kyoto Asia Pacific Partnership

On a day when British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett was urging India to join the fight against climate change, the country announced that it is throwing its lot in with the industry-oriented Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP).

The anti-Kyoto APP is an international body including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. It has been presented as an alternative to the United Nations-sponsored Framework Convention on Climate Change, albeit one that rejects the notion of enforceable climate change measures such as those negotiated in the Kyoto Accord. Instead, the APP is dedicated to increasing GHG-causing industrial and energy development, promising only to improve the relative environmental cleanliness of those developments

The APP’s apparent devotion to clean development is welcome. There will be a huge amount of energy- and industry-related development, especially in India and China, in the coming decades and it is critical that these be as clean as possible. But it’s still a concern that the APP is being used as an international alternative to the hard choices and enforceable treaties that are necessary – the tiniest first steps of which are evident in Kyoto.

We can only hope that Canada, at least, will stand up and dismiss the APP for what it is, an international PR exercise, intended to make these countries look like they are acting responsibly when, in fact, they are just trying to dodge a difficult issue.

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