Climate Talks to Center on Economic Issues

A two-week conference that opened yesterday will focus on measures to limit emissions of carbon dioxide gases blamed for global warming. But the major debates will center on how a new climate treaty could reshape the global economy, reports the LA Times.


The LA Times says that for China and most of Europe, a climate treaty offers opportunities to expand industries and create jobs by developing and selling new technologies for wind, solar, nuclear and other low-emission energy. Many of those countries, particularly China, have alloted large portions of recent economic stimulus packages to low-emission energy technology, says the LA Times.


Meanwhile, the most immediate concern of nations such as the United States, Canada and India is the potential economic and political cost of imposing stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions -- particularly for their coal, oil and manufacturing industries.


"One of the reasons that this negotiation is difficult is it really does involve issues of competitive and comparative advantage between countries," Nick Main, the global managing partner for climate change and sustainability at the consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, told the LA Times. "This is really an economic debate of, 'How do you pay the costs?' "


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