Thursday, December 13, 2007

Environmental holdup

U.S. intransigence on global warming threatens to derail next month's climate talks in Honolulu. The European Union threatened today to boycott the U.S.-sponsored talks, the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, to protest the United States' refusal to agree to manatory emissions cuts at this week's United Nations-sponsored climate conference in Bali. "No result in Bali means no Major Economies Meeting," said Sigmar Gabriel, the top EU environment official. "This is the clear position of the EU. I do not know what we should talk about if there is no target." Japan, Russia and several other governments also have backed away from proposals at Bali to cut emissions 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020. But the United States is the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases and the only major industrial country that did not ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

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