Climate conference ends without targets
The Associated Press, Feb. 1, 2008
A meeting of delegates from the nations that emit the most pollutants ended without concrete targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, but participants praised what they saw as a new willingness by the
Delegates from 16 nations, plus the European Union and the United Nations, gathered in
Among the topics were energy-efficient technologies, ways rich countries could help developing countries and countering deforestation.
Delegates said the
"We're happy the position of the
LaLonde pointed to bills in Congress addressing climate change and the Bush administration's move to host the
"Of course, we want more. We hope in the next weeks after these discussions that we'll be able to deliver more," LaLonde said. "But it's a good start."
Delegates didn't discuss the details of a European Union proposal for industrialized countries to slash emissions by 25 to 40 percent, said Artur Runge-Metzger, the European Commission's head of climate change negotiations.
The emissions reduction proposal and U.S. opposition to it was one of the biggest sticking points of a contentious climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, last month.
The conference ended with the
He added that delegates shared a sense that work needs to get done because of the dire consequences of rising temperatures, sea levels and environmental catastrophes.
"There's a realization that we have to get an agreement; otherwise we're all going to drown," Woolas said.
Chief U.S. delegate Jim Connaughton, the White House environmental chief, said President Bush has long highlighted the importance of reducing emissions.
He pointed to
"We like to prepare, plan and announce. This is what the president has done consistently since 2001, as you can see it's gaining increasing appreciation," Connaughton said after the talks.
Nations represented at the conference account for 80 percent of emissions that scientists say contribute to global warming. In addition to the
Environmentalists had voiced skepticism about what the
The EU has proposed cutting its overall emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels, or 14 percent from 2005.
Demonstrators were absent Thursday, but about a dozen had protested the day before outside the meeting to object to what they said was insufficient commitment from the Bush administration to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Others drew blue chalk lines along