US Denies Post-2012 Emissions Discussion with EU
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States on Monday denied it had discussed with the European Commission plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions after the Kyoto Protocol runs out on 2012.
Earlier, a spokeswoman for the Commission said Stephen Johnson, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, showed interest in plans for curbing emissions after 2012 in a meeting with European Environment Commission Stavros Dimoas.
But an EPA spokeswoman said the discussion had instead touched on U.S. targets for renewable fuel use by the same date.
“Administrator Johnson discussed the 2012 U.S. renewable fuel standard and President (George W.) Bush’s goal of reducing the U.S. dependency on foreign oil by 75 percent by 2025,” said EPA spokeswoman Jennifer Wood.
Johnson told Dimas at the meeting that “our means may be different but we have the same goal, referring to climate change,” Wood said.
Dimas’ spokeswoman Barbara Helfferich told Reuters earlier there had been signs of “some movement on the part of the Americans to look at climate change” and “the Americans have signaled they have shown some interest in a post-2012 regime.”
She was referring to the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol, under which almost 40 industrialized countries have agreed to cap their emissions. It runs until 2012.
The United States pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, saying it would cost jobs and wrongly excluded developing nations.
Since then, Washington has said it wants to cut the amount of greenhouse gases emitted for every dollar of U.S. economic output by 18 percent over the decade to 2012.
The policy will slow a rise in emissions but stops short of caps sought by Kyoto.