Tim Webb

The Organisation of the Petrol Exporting Countries (OPEC) gave its qualified support to international efforts to combat climate change on Sunday, calling on rich countries to help oil-producing countries reduce their emissions. Releasing its official declaration at the end of the third summit in its 47-year history, the cartel also made an unconvincing attempt to present a united front to a world spooked by record oil prices.

In its declaration, the cartel said the successor treaty to the Kyoto protocol, which will be negotiated at Bali next month, should not set tough emission reduction targets for its members. OPEC has traditionally been hostile to attempts to combat climate change. Environmentalists have accused them of obstructing sessions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But one author of the latest IPCC assessment on climate change said the Saudis had become “far more cooperative.” — ©Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2007