The differences between the European Union and the United States over climate change remain as large as ever following high-level talks between the two sides in Washington on Monday and Tuesday (ENDS Daily 29 October). A spokesman for EU Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard, told ENDS Daily that "no progress" had been made at the meeting and that the gap between the two sides had not been closed. "One can try and smooth over the differences", said the spokesman, "but they appear quite large". The EU is calling on industrialised countries to agree a 15% cut in greenhouse gases by 2010, whilst the US favours stabilisation of emissions at 1990 levels by 2012 and a small cut by 2017. Having failed to reach agreement at formal negotiations in Bonn last month (ENDS Daily 3 November), leading developed countries are now involved in frantic negotiations to hammer out a compromise deal in time for the Kyoto conference in December. On Saturday, ministers will hold informal talks in Tokyo, whilst bilateral meetings between the EU and US are to continue up to Kyoto.
European Commission, tel: + 32 2 295 1111.
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