August 16, 2005

Denmark urges “new thinking” on climate change

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark urged "new thinking" on
Tuesday about ways to combat global warming at the start of
climate talks by 25 nations in Greenland.

"Climate change represents a growing global challenge,"
Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller told delegates at the start
of the informal four-day talks on the island in Ilulissat,
north of the Arctic Circle.

"It's my hope (that the talks) will help to push things
along. There is a need for new thinking," he said.

Denmark is hosting the talks in Greenland, which is part of
Denmark but has extensive home rule.

Ministers and officials from nations including the United
States, China, India, Mexico and the European Union were
attending in a bid to resolve deep policy splits after
Washington pulled out of the U.N.'s Kyoto protocol on combating
global warming in 2001.

"We must find a model for how all big emitters of
greenhouse gas can be actively involved in future climate
efforts," Moeller said.

Kyoto is meant as a first step toward braking a rise in
global temperatures from a build-up of gases from fossil fuels
emitted by power plants, factories and cars.

U.N. reports say that rising temperatures could spur more
desertification, storms and floods, and melt icecaps, raising
sea levels by up to a meter (yard) by the end of the 21st

President Bush pulled the United States out of Kyoto,
saying that it was too expensive and wrongly excluded
developing nations from the first round of targets until 2012.

Denmark hopes the Greenland meeting will help prepare for
U.N. talks in Canada in late November on ways to widen the
Kyoto protocol to include the United States and developing
nations like China and India after a first phase running to

The United States and Australia, which is also outside
Kyoto, agreed a new pact with China, India, South Korea and
Japan last month on sharing new clean technology to combat
climate change in an alternative scheme.

Under Kyoto, developed nations will have to cut their
emissions of greenhouse gases by an average 5.2 percent below
1990 levels by 2008-12. The Greenland meeting is not due to
reach any formal accords.