Edward Luce
Financial Times
May 14, 2009

The US Congress must pass a “strong” climate change bill before the global warming summit in Copenhagen this December if it is to have a chance of persuading China and India to sign up to a new treaty, says Bill Clinton.

[efoods]“First of all if we don’t adopt a workable but a strong [cap and trade] bill then we can’t get them to sign up because we won’t have any credibility,” Mr Clinton told the Financial Times in an interview on Wednesday.

“They will dodge – they won’t play in that arena unless we are clearly there.”

The former US president, whose administration negotiated the Kyoto protocol in 1997, which failed to be passed by Congress because it largely spared the big developing countries from obligations, said China was in some respects ahead of the US on clean energy.

“They’re already doing a lot of things better than we are,” Mr 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.”

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