10:23 PM ET 03/23/97

Gore seeks targets on greehouse gas emissions

	 
	    By Laurence McQuillan
	    TOKYO, March 24 (Reuter) - U.S. Vice President Al Gore on
Monday called for the world's nations to agree to legally
binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions when they meet in
Japan in December.
	    ``The growth of our economies and the stability of our
societies are intertwined with the effects of climate change,
environmental degradation, resource depletion, threats to human
health, and population shifts... Our success will depend upon
far-sighted wisdom in our choices,'' he told an environmental
conference in Tokyo.
	    Gore, who heads for Beijing later on Monday after a 24-hour
stop in Tokyo, said the United States sees three essential
ingredients to a successful outcome of an environmental summit
scheduled for Kyoto in December.
	    ``First, the developed world must agree to realistic and
achievable legally binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions.
Experience tells us that only through the surety of a binding
commitment will nations take the necessary actions to control
their emissions,'' he said.
	    ``At the same time, we must take care to develop targets
that put us on a more sustainable energy path without
sacrificing continued economic growth and development,'' Gore
said.
	    At the last summit -- the so-called Rio de Janeiro Earth
summit in Brazil in 1992 -- then U.S. president George Bush
backed targets for limiting greenhouse gases, but refused to
accept legally binding targets.
	    Gore called for a maximum amount of flexibility to ensure
that governments were given every opportunity to meet their
commitments.
	    The third element, Gore said, was to acknowledge the global
nature of the problem of protecting the environment.
	    ``So while the United States, Japan, the European Union and
other developed countries should take on greater
responsibilities, China, India and the rest of the developing
world must too have obligations,'' Gore said.
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