Melbourne, Dec.6 : Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has achieved a significant coup by saying that he is willing to act as an intermediary between China and the developed world.
Interacting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Mandarin for about 20-minutes, Rudd told him that he was ready to take a leadership role in creating a bridge between the aspirations of the developing world and developed nations.
The Australian quoted sources as saying last night that Rudd's discussion with Wen Jiabao indicated the Chinese were open to exploiting their relationship with his government to enlist him as an intermediary.
Wen had contacted Rudd to congratulate him on his decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Chinese Premier sought Rudd's co-operation in future talks on the issue of climate change.
The discussion took place after Wen congratulated Rudd on his becoming the 26th Prime Minister of Australia.
Rudd also accepted Wen's invitation to next year's Beijing Olympics.
Rudd also spoke to US President George W. Bush after his election victory.
China and other developing nations face pressure from Europe to agree to binding cuts in carbon emissions at international talks in Bali, which hope to establish a timetable for negotiations on a new global climate change pact after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
The US and the previous Howard government favoured voluntary targets for emission cuts. Labor has made clear it will not sign a post-Kyoto pact that does not set emissions targets for developing nations such as China and India.
Australia gave its strongest signal yet of a major policy shift when it told the UN climate change conference in Bali that it accepted the need for a 25 to 40 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
The Rudd Government has committed only to cutting the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.
Australia's historic shift came shortly after environmentalists expressed concern that an offer by Rudd to "bridge the gap" between the developed and developing worlds on climate change was an empty boast. (ANI)
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