Finnish PM pushes US for action on climate change

Finnish prime minister Matti Vanhanen encouraged the United States to commit more to reducing global warming during an official visit there this week, reports

Vanhanen expressed his hope that the US president elected in 2008 will make climate change a true priority, although he praised US involvement in recent international talks towards a new global warming agreement.

Vanhanen met with vice president Cheney on Tuesday with the intention of seeking a stronger commitment from the US government to support international efforts to tackle global warming.

“All nations need to show determination and leadership in the efforts to tackle climate change,” Vanhanen said. “The United States is in a unique position.”

The US is under pressure from European countries to agree to mandatory emission cuts under the international agreement that will come into effect in 2012, after the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol. The United States stood out as the only major industrial country which refused to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol.

“It is of utmost importance that also the coming administration will become an active partner in negotiations as soon as it has taken office,” Vanhanen said.