Positive Environment News

EU, US to Agree "Urgent" Action on Climate Change

Date: 21-Jun-06
Country: BELGIUM

In draft conclusions of the EU-US summit in Vienna obtained by Reuters, the two sides pledge their commitment to boost investment in less-polluting fossil and renewable fuel sources, make more use of renewable energy and lower the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

"We will work more closely to address the serious and long-term challenge of climate change, biodiversity loss and air pollution and will act with resolve and urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," the draft conclusions said.

The conclusions did not mention specific targets but said the two sides would hold an annual strategic review of EU-US energy cooperation.

The 25-nation EU pushed for the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, which mandates cuts in greenhouse gases, and established a European trading scheme to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.

US President George W. Bush, who will be present at the summit on Wednesday, pulled the United States out of Kyoto in 2001, saying it would cost American jobs and wrongly set no emissions limits for developing nations.

The United States is the world's biggest polluter, producing a quarter of global carbon emissions.

In the draft conclusions, the EU and United States agree to cooperate more to diversify energy sources, secure energy infrastructure and promote policies to "ensure competition, transparency, respect for contracts, and non-discriminatory trade, transit and access" in the energy sector.

© Thomson Reuters 2006 All rights reserved

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