Ghosn: Auto Industry Must Take Lead In CO2 Emissions

Renault and Nissan chief says carmakers need an integrated approach with other industries to fight global warming together.

SINGAPORE (AP) - Carmakers must take the lead in reducing carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming, but one industry alone cannot solve the problem, the chief of Renault and Nissan said Sunday.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of French vehicle maker Renault SA and Japan's Nissan Motor Co., said there was debate in Europe and the U.S. on possible legislation to enforce cuts in CO2 emissions.

While the car industry must take the lead, Ghosn called for an ''integrated approach'' to tackle global warming.

''You are not going to fight emission by singling out on one industry because CO2 is emitted by many industries. If you want to fight global warming, we need to have an integrated approach,'' he told a news conference at the start of the two-day World Economic Forum on East Asia, a gathering of government and business leaders to discuss the region's growth.

Ghosn said the car industry needs to make a ''significant and reasonable'' contribution to reducing CO2, one of several greenhouse gases that are causing a rise in global temperatures.

''The car industry has to step up and make its contribution first so there is no suspicion that you are going for an integrated approach because you don't want it to happen,'' he said.

''This is not jockeying for position between one industry and another. This is taking care of the planet.''

As the industry works on developing hydrogen-powered cars which emit water and do not spew CO2, Ghosn said carmakers must also ensure that the production of hydrogen does not contribute to pollution.

Cuts in vehicle emissions are part of the EU's strategy in cutting so-called greenhouse gases under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

The U.N. treaty, which caps the amount of CO2 that can be emitted from power plants and factories in industrialized countries, expires in 2012. Currently, developing countries like China and India are exempt from Kyoto's obligations - part of the reason why both the United States and Australia have refused to join in.

U.S. President George W. Bush earlier June proposed that the 15 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases hold meetings and set an emissions goal, but each country would be able to decide individually on how to implement it.


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