From: Reuters
Published December 14, 2007 12:14 AM

Bali climate talks draft drop 2020 emissions goal

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - A compromise draft text to launch in Bali two years of negotiations for a global pact to fight climate change has dropped a key ambition of tough 2020 greenhouse emissions cuts for rich countries.

The text, trying to end a dispute between the United States and the European Union on the last day of two-week U.N. talks, retained an ambition for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak in the next 10-15 years and to fall well below half of 2000 levels by 2050.

The European Union has so far insisted on a specific range of greenhouse gas emissions cuts for rich nations, by 25-40 percent on 1990 levels by 2020, in a Bali final text to guide talks on a pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.

It was not clear if the EU, the United States and other countries would agree to the text, drafted by hosts Indonesia.

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The EU Commission declined to say if it would accept the lack of 2020 goals. "We have always insisted that we have a range that shows the conclusions of science," said Barbara Helfferich, spokeswoman for the Commission.

The text, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, said that developed countries should take the lead in driving cuts in emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

It omitted a U.S. proposal tabled late Thursday night that all countries should only aspire to national emissions targets, and returned instead to previous texts that put the main burden on the rich.

It said that all developed countries should consider "quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments" and developing nations should consider "measurable and reportable national mitigation actions."

"It's important to have the signal that global emissions should peak in 10 to 15 years," said James Leape, head of the WWF environmental group. "But the 2020 goal is also crucial for industrialized nations."


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