A hard-fought deal by a 190-nation conference to negotiate a new pact to fight global warming has run into rough weather with the US on Sunday expressing "serious concerns" over some provisions and saying major developing countries like India and China should be set emission targets just like developed ones.
A UN climate conference in Bali had on Saturday adopted a plan which fixed 2009 as the deadline for a new global warming treaty which will replace the Kyoto protocol after the US lifted last-ditch opposition to a call by developing nations for technological help to battle rising temperatures.
While many features of the Bali deal were "quite positive", the US has "serious concerns about other aspects of the decision as we begin the negotiations," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.
"The negotiations must proceed on the view that the problem of climate change cannot be adequately addressed through commitments for emissions cuts by developed countries alone. Major developing economies must likewise act," Perino said.
The US, the only major industrialised nation to reject Kyoto, argues that the UN-sponsored agreement which will expire in 2012 is unfair as it does not require rapidly growing emerging economies like India and China to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.
"Empirical studies on emission trends in the major developing economies now conclusively establish that emissions reductions principally by the developed world will be insufficient to confront the global problem effectively," the White House statement said.
Perino insisted that "larger emitting developing countries" should be part of the global effort to address climate change.
"...For these negotiations to succeed, it is essential that the major developed and developing countries be prepared to negotiate commitments, consistent with their national circumstances, that will make a due contribution to the reduction of global emissions," Perino said.
The White House also said any post-Kyoto agreement should acknowledge the "legitimate right" of countries to pursue economic growth and energy security.