The fourth ministerial meeting of the Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Sustainable Development has wrapped up in Japan.
Twenty countries reaffirmed the goal of environmental protection, but as Mike Patterson tells us, they are far from agreeing on specific methods.
Japan says the meeting represented a positive follow-up to last year's Bali conference on climate change.
Ichiro Kamoshita, Japanese Environment Minister, said, "I found the meeting was successful in the sense that all the participants were facing in the same direction in some aspects. And that the meeting gave an acceleration to the momentum."
But differences exist over Japan's proposal for sectoral caps for polluting industries.
Japan has been promoting a so-called sectoral approach in which global industries such as steel or cement would set international guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions.
Proponents say that would set a level playing field for competitive industries.
Critics charge it could lead to protectionism and hinder the battle against climate change.
Some participants fear sectoral caps could be used to favor industries in richer countries with access to more advanced technology, while competitors in less developed countries would suffer.
Japan called for unity in taking action to save the planet.
Akira Amari, Minister of Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry, said, "We need to share an idea that we cannot save the environment of this planet unless everybody participates. I believe that there is an understanding that it matters to everybody but we need to have an understanding that everybody needs to do something to tackle this issue."
Discussion of the topic will continue in Japan when it hosts the G8 Summit in the northern city of Toyako in July.