EU Says New Deal To Replace Kyoto Must Have Specific Targets
STRASBOURG, France A new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012 will need specific targets that are applied sensitively to avoid damaging national economies, Britain's Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said Wednesday.
Beckett said a new framework agreement to tackle global warming and pollution after the Kyoto accord expires must have targets set over the right timeframe.
Beckett, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, urged both EU member states and major polluters such as China and India to use cleaner energy supplies, arguing emissions are not being reduced as quickly as desired.
"The UK has repeatedly stated that formal agreements with targets are absolutely essential in any international climate change regime, not least because they give incentive and certainty to business community," she told the European Parliament.
Britain has repeatedly said that targets must be set sensitively in order not to hinder economic growth and not make countries worry about their economies.
Britain has made tackling global warming one its priorities during the six-month EU presidency that ends in December. But it has met strong resistance from the United States.
U.S. President George W. Bush's administration has refused to sign the 1997 Kyoto accord, saying the caps on greenhouse gas emissions it demands would damage the U.S. economy. Bush also objects to large developing nations, such as China and India, being exempt from the treaty.
Britain believes getting developing countries on board is crucial. China, for instance, is investing massively in coal-fired power stations. By 2025, more than half of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases will be coming from developing countries.
Source: Associated Press