The US, China, India, Australia and South Korea are set to forge an alliance on greenhouse gas emissions that will seek to replace the controversial Kyoto Protocol. The agreement, made at the annual ASEAN Regional Forum ministerial meeting, may include cooperation on clean coal, integrated gasification combined cycle, civilian nuclear power, bio-energy, renewable energy, nano-technologies and next-generation nuclear fission and fusion energy.

The alliance, provisionally termed the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, potentially brings together nations that collectively account for more than 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and is designed to achieve economic growth and significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The alliance aims to use advanced technologies to reduce emissions and disseminate such technologies in the areas and industries that need them.

The US and Australia are the two most high profile refuseniks for Kyoto while China and India are not included in the agreement because they are considered developing economies.

The European Union has already expressed scepticism over the pact given that it does not set mandatory targets to reduce emissions and appears to rely on technology to reduce emissions rather than specific emissions control.

In a press conference a spokesman said that the partnership would not undermine Kyoto.

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