Asia-Pacific leaders have ended the first day of their two-day summit in Sydney, Australia, by agreeing to work on reducing climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the 21 economies on Saturday agreed to adopt what he called "aspirational" goals to reduce emissions, with all nations contributing according to their own capacities.
They did not adopt firm emission-reduction targets.
Environmentalists had called on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group to set some firm reduction targets, instead of non-binding goals. But many governments -- including the United States, China and Australia -- opposed such an agreement.
Their statement, also called the "Sydney Declaration," sets a target for reducing what is known as "energy intensity" by 25 percent by 2030. Energy intensity is a measure of the energy efficiency of a nation's economy.
Later today, US President George Bush left the summit before it ended. While in Australia this week, Mr. Bush held a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of APEC.
As leaders met today, some three thousand demonstrators gathered in downtown Sydney to protest the Iraq war and various environmental and economic policies.
Leaders at the APEC summit are also expected to discuss reviving the stalled Doha round of World Trade Organization talks aimed at reducing poverty. Richer countries disagree about how best to reduce agricultural barriers, and poorer countries disagree on how much to open their markets to more imports.
The Doha round of trade talks began in 2001. They have been stalled since last year. The talks are aimed at producing an accord that will reduce global trade barriers to help accelerate growth and to reduce poverty in developing nations.