EU threatens boycott of U.S. climate talks
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - The European Union threatened on Thursday to boycott U.S. talks among the top greenhouse gas emitting nations, accusing Washington of blocking goals for emissions cuts during U.N. talks in Bali.
"It's true that if we would have a failure in Bali it would be meaningless to have a major economies' meeting" in the United States, Humberto Rosa, Portugal's Secretary of State for Environment, told a news conference on the penultimate day of the two-week talks.
Portugal holds the rotating EU presidency and Rosa is the EU's chief negotiator in Bali.
Washington has called a meeting of 17 of the world's top economies, ranging from China to Australia, in Hawaii late next month to discuss long-term greenhouse gas curbs. Washington hosted a similar meeting in September.
The EU and the United States are accusing each other of holding up a deal in Bali, which is seeking to agree terms for two years of negotiations on a pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, the current plan for cutting greenhouse gases.
The EU wants the Bali talks to agree a non-binding goal of cuts in emissions of 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 for industrial economies. Washington says such a range would prejudge the outcome of the negotiations.
"What is a roadmap without a destination?" European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas asked. "This conference cannot afford to fail."
He said he told Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs who is heading the U.S. delegation: "If we have an agreement here in Bali which is substantial, of course the major emitters' meeting has some importance. Otherwise it's meaningless."
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(Editing by David Fogarty)