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Obama Must Be More Engaged on Climate Change: Greenpeace

BEIJING — Greenpeace, the global environmental group, called Friday on US President Barack Obama to become more engaged on climate change at home and abroad, just two days ahead of his visit to China.

Greenpeace activists rally in Tokyo. (AFP) "The main thing he needs to do is improve the public debate (domestically)," Kyle Ash, the group's senior legislative director on climate change, told reporters in Beijing.

"Internationally, it would be more about demonstrating what the US is doing, what they are willing to do, to show that the US is willing to be a productive partner on the international stage for a climate change agreement."

China and the United States are the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, and the two have been at loggerheads as to how to commit to fighting climate change ahead of a key meeting on the issue in Copenhagen next month.

The United States has so far made no firm commitment to emissions reductions ahead of the meeting, which is aimed at crafting a new pact on fighting global warming beyond 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires.

China has announced it will reduce carbon intensity -- greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP -- by a "notable margin" by 2020 from their 2005 levels, without giving a figure.

Obama is expected to discuss climate change with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in talks in Beijing on Tuesday.

Ash said an agreement on technological cooperation and collaboration on energy efficiency projects might be announced, as well as a political message aimed at demonstrating good faith and willingness for success in Copenhagen.

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