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Global Climate Conference Opens In Australia

11 January 2006 -- A climate conference opened in Sydney today with representatives of the world's biggest polluters claiming that industry leaders can be relied upon to cut emissions voluntarily.

The emissions are blamed by most environmental scientists for heating the earth's atmosphere.

The conference brought together senior officials from the United States, Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, and India, along with executives from energy and resource companies in the private sector.

Those countries make up 45 percent of the world's population, and account for nearly half of the world's gross domestic product, energy consumption, and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Environmentalists have branded the meeting a stunt to divert attention from the U.S. and Australian governments' refusals to sign the Kyoto Protocol. That document legally binds countries to targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2012.