LONDON, May 14 (AFP) May 14, 2009
Former US president Bill Clinton said Thursday that Congress must pass a "strong" climate change bill if it hopes to persuade China and India to sign up to a new deal on tackling global warming.
In an interview with the Financial Times in London, Clinton said legislation must be passed before a global summit in Copenhagen in December to agree on a successor to the Kyoto treaty on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
"First of all, if we don't adopt a workable but a strong bill then we can't get them (India and China) to sign up because we won't have any credibility," he said.
"They will dodge -- they won't play in that arena unless we are clearly there."
Democrats in the US House of Representatives are currently crafting an energy and climate change bill that would introduce a "cap and trade" mechanism for limiting overall pollution and boost the use of renewable energy.
Clinton's administration negotiated the Kyoto protocol in 1997, but the United States failed to ratify it, largely because the agreement did not include developing countries such as China.
The former president said that in many respects, China was more advanced on clean energy than the United States.
"They're already doing a lot of things better than we are," Clinton said.
"All of their new coal plants are going to be at higher technology than our own coal stock... They have already invested more than we have in high-speed rail.
"The only thing they are still behind us on is vigorous energy efficiency."All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.