Ministers talk tough on climate challenge

EU environment council moots halving of global emissions by 2050 as Kyoto targets' feasibility confirmed

EU environment ministers reaffirmed their commitment to substantial future cuts in greenhouse gas emissions at their council meeting on Monday, brushing aside deep international divisions on the issue during UN climate talks last week. New projections issued on Tuesday helpfully confirmed that the EU-15 can meet its Kyoto protocol 2008-12 emission targets.

Clearly undaunted by last week's convoluted agreement to hold an expert seminar in May without prejudice to future negotiations, EU ministers welcomed what they called "the important decision to start a dialogue" on "future actions" - code for emission cuts.

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