Developing Asia says Obama ‘key’ on climate talks

In Americas, Governments & Politics, News Headlines

More than half of people in developing Asian nations believe agreement on a new global climate treaty rests on US President Barack Obama, according to a poll released Thursday.

The survey found 53 percent of those polled see an agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December depending on Obama’s leadership, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in a statement.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came second and third with 15 percent and 14 percent respectively.

The poll, commissioned by WWF, Greenpeace and environmental group, surveyed 6,063 people in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

“People in developing Asia think a few countries can make all the difference,” said Kim Carstensen, WWF?s Global Climate Initiative leader.

“If the United States, China and India live up to the huge leadership potential Asians see in them, Copenhagen can deliver a global deal that protects the world from runaway climate change, especially poor and vulnerable nations like those in Asia.”

Several of those countries believed to be crucial for an agreement were also seen as the most obstructive with 43 percent viewing China as the most difficult.

Another 38 percent said the United States posed the biggest threat to an agreement while 33 percent voted for India.

The mid-December meeting under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aims to set down action for tackling heat-trapping carbon emissions beyond 2012, when the current provisions of the Kyoto Protocol run out.

The poll revealed most Asians demanded action from all the major players but also expected their own countries to show leadership on tackling climate change in Copenhagen.

Water shortages were the most worrying potential impact of climate change, according to a third of those polled. Another third mainly feared worsening general health conditions.

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