SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Pacific Rim negotiators agreed Friday on a joint statement on global warming that would ask developing nations to commit to energy efficiency targets and acknowledge that wealthy countries have greater responsibility for the problem, two Asian officials said.
Experts from the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum approved the wording of a final draft statement on climate change that would be handed to leaders at their summit starting Saturday, the officials said.
If the leaders agree to the statement in its current form, it would be a big victory for the goal of Australia and the United States to have China — one of the world's biggest polluters — and other developing nations commit to quantifiable goals to tackle climate change.
Leaders likely will approve some form of statement on climate change at the summit — not doing so would deliver a rude rebuff to Australia and the United States, who are strong backers. But leaders have an opportunity to make their own changes.
One official involved in the talks, Indonesia's Salman Al-Farisi, said the draft statement included agreement on setting an ''energy intensity'' reducting target — a major concession by poorer nations that earlier had refused to consider including any quantifiable goals.
The target was for all 21 APEC members to work toward a 25 percent reduction of energy intensity by 2030, said a Southeast Asian official involved in the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
In return for the reduction target, developed countries agreed to recognize that poorer nations had fewer responsibilities to cut carbon emissions that developed ones, officials said.
The sides also agreed that the U.N. was the chief place for global negotiations on the problem.
''Everybody cannot get everything, but everybody did not lose too much,'' Al-Farisi said of the compromise, which he emphasized was in line with APEC's consensus-based, nonbinding approach.
''It is (up to members') discretion to follow, in accordance to their national programs,'' he said.