ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 52

US objects to G8 climate declaration

WASHINGTON, Saturday (AFP) - The United States has raised new serious objections to a proposed global warming declaration prepared by Germany for next month's Group of Eight summit, The Washington Post reported today. Citing documents obtained by the newspaper, the report said officials representing the administration of President George W. Bush rejected the idea of setting mandatory emissions targets as well as language calling for G8 nations to raise overall energy efficiencies by 20 percent by 2020.

With less than two weeks remaining before the June 6-8 summit, the climate document is the only unresolved issue in the statements the world leaders are expected to sign there, said the report, citing sources close to the talks. Representatives from the world's leading industrial nations met the past two days in Heiligendamm, Germany, to negotiate over German Chancellor Angela Merkel's proposed climate statement.

It calls for limiting the worldwide temperature rise this century to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit and cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. “The US still has serious, fundamental concerns about this draft statement,” The Post quotes a document dated May 14 as saying.

“The treatment of climate change runs counter to our overall position and crosses multiple 'red lines' in terms of what we simply cannot agree to... We have tried to 'tread lightly' but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position.”The most recent draft, dated May 24, shows that the two sides still remain at odds, the paper said.

While Germany has offered to alter language identifying a rise in global temperature of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit as a dangerous tipping point and instead to accept a Russian proposal that targets a range from 2.7 to 4.5 degrees, the United States has yet to accept the modified language.

The Post said that the United States also remains opposed to a statement that reads, “We acknowledge that the UN climate process is an appropriate forum for negotiating future global action on climate change.”

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.