From: Bloomberg
Published February 5, 2009 11:35 AM

U.S. May Not Match Europe’s Pledge on Carbon Cuts, De Boer Says

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Barack Obama is unlikely to match a European Union pledge to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 30 percent from 1990 levels because it’s too ambitious, United Nations Climate Chief Yvo de Boer said.

The EU goal is for 2020. By that year the U.S. is projected to be releasing 34 percent more greenhouse gases compared with the same base year, de Boer said today in New Delhi. Europe is taking bigger steps to trim pollution from cars, factories and power plants than those under way in the world’s biggest economy.

“I don’t think that is feasible for the U.S.,” the United Nations official told reporters at a conference, referring to equaling the EU goal.

Finding a common emissions target is crucial to negotiations De Boer supervises among 192 countries for a new climate-protection treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. That agreement set limits for 37 developed nations that expire in 2012.


Obama made an election pledge to bring U.S. emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. That’s less than a promise by the 27-nation European Union to slash the gases by 20 percent by 2020. The EU additionally offered as much as a 30 percent decline, dependent on a treaty being brokered that contains “comparable reductions” by other developed nations.

“What the Obama administration has already signaled is incredibly important,” de Boer said. “President Obama has currently offered to return emission levels to 1990 levels by 2020. Whether he goes beyond that is part of the international negotiations.”

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