EU Seeks Talks, Not Targets at U.N. Climate Meeting
BRUSSELS A U.N. climate change summit is not expected to agree new targets for the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions when it convenes later this month in Canada, the European Union's environment chief said on Thursday.
But EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said he hoped the Montreal meeting would lead to the start of talks to bring the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, when its first phase ends.
"In Montreal of course we do no expect to have any specific agreement on reductions or targets," Dimas told reporters.
"What we hope to achieve is an agreement to start negotiations for the after-2012 regime."
Kyoto requires developed nations to cut their emissions of heat-trapping gases by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The United States and Australia did not ratify the pact, and developing nations are exempt from the emissions caps.
The EU, considered a world leader on climate change, has stressed the need for the United States and developing nations to be more involved in a post-2012 phase, but many of the parties attending the Montreal meeting have played down the prospects of substantial progress.
Officials from 150 countries are expected to attend the meeting, which begins on Nov. 28.
Many scientists blame the rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions, especially CO2, in the last century for causing global warming whose worst effects could include rising seas levels and flooding.