The European Union and Asia will issue a joint call for a “binding” climate change deal at a summit of nearly 50 nations next week, according to a draft of the final statement obtained by AFP on Friday.
The draft document said leaders of the 48-nation Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels “shared the goal of reaching urgently a fair, effective and comprehensive legally binding outcome” on climate change.
“Deep cuts in global emissions are required” to ensure the increase in global temperature remain below two degrees Celsius, said the draft, which has yet to be formally adopted by the leaders flying in to Brussels for the summit.
The ASEM forum meeting on Monday and Tuesday includes the 27 EU nations, Southeast Asian nations as well as China, Japan, South Korea and India.
New members Russia, Australia and New Zealand will also be gathering at the two-day summit, held ahead of a final preparatory meeting in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin for UN talks opening in November in Cancun in Mexico.
Major carbon emitters including the United States and China remain far apart on climate change.
Hopes are low that any binding deals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions can be reached at the talks in the Mexican resort amid lingering bitterness following last year’s global talks in Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen conference last December agreed on the goal of capping global temperature rises at 2.0 degree Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit) and pledged 100 billion dollars a year to help poor countries cope with climate change.
But it failed to muster the requisite emissions-reduction commitments from carbon producers or specify who would provide the mitigation funds.
Major emerging nations such as China and India also have resisted legally binding requirements to cut emissions, saying rich countries are historically responsible for global warming and must take the lead.