September 22, 2005

EU sees no major post-Kyoto climate deal at talks

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The European Union does not expect a
binding agreement to emerge from major talks designed to find a
way of replacing the Kyoto climate change accord, the EU's
environment commissioner said on Thursday.

Around 150 nations will gather in Montreal in late November
to discuss a treaty to replace the Kyoto agreement, which is
designed to curb emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for
global warming.

Kyoto, which formally expires in 2012, does not cover
developing nations. As well, the United States and Australia
walked away from the accord, saying it would harm their

"I would like to have an agreement (on future cuts) in
Montreal but that's unrealistic," EU Environment Commissioner
Stavros Dimas told reporters in Ottawa.

"The whole process of what to do after 2012 will take some
time and will be quite difficult," he said.

Last week, Canadian officials said they did not expect a
breakthrough in Montreal. Instead, they said, the talks would
focus on finding common ground between Kyoto signatories and
those nations which did not commit to the accord's cuts.

"The best we can realistically aim at is agreeing to start
negotiations for the (period) after 2012," said Dimas, who is
in Ottawa for an informal meeting of environment ministers to
discuss the Montreal agenda.

Dimas said the post-Kyoto accord had to oblige all
signatories to cut emissions. He added that developing
countries should not be asked to make the same kinds of cuts as
the world's largest polluters.

Australia agreed in July to work with the United States,
China, India, Japan and South Korea to curb global warming but
the six countries did not set targets for emissions cuts.