MONTREAL (Reuters) 20 min. ago — Environment ministers agreed to launch new, open-ended world talks on ways to fight global warming, including the United States which had resisted taking part.
Former President Bill Clinton addresses the press, following a speech at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Montreal. Christinne Muschi/Reuters
Ministers at the U.N. meeting in Montreal said the deal would “explore and analyze strategic approaches for long-term cooperative action to address climate change.” The plan sets no timetables, nor targets.
A few minutes earlier, nations in the narrower Kyoto Protocol agreed to begin talks on extending the pact beyond a first phase lasting until 2012.
The United States pulled out in 2001 from Kyoto, which obliges about 40 rich nations to cut industrial emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide.
MONTREAL (The Independent) Dec. 10 — The US faced widespread condemnation after persistently rejecting even the mildest commitment to deal with climate change at the UN talks in Montreal.
Washington’s behaviour represents a serious embarrassment to Tony Blair who has argued that he could obtain an undertaking from the US to tackle the issue.
As the US position was highlighted by its chief negotiator Harlan Watson walking out of talks, as the former president Bill Clinton launched an attack on his successor’s environmental policy.
To thunderous applause from delegates from nations around the world who are readying themselves to move ahead with the next stage of the Kyoto Protocol, Mr Clinton said the environmental policy of George Bush’s administration was “flat wrong”.
More to follow as soon as it becomes available »»
By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent
MONTREAL (AP) 34 min. ago – Ending a contentious U.N. conference on global warming, more than 150 nations agreed early Saturday to launch formal talks on mandatory post-2012 reductions in greenhouse gases — talks that will exclude an unwilling United States.
For its part, the Bush administration, which rejects the emissions cutbacks of the current Kyoto Protocol, accepted only a watered-down proposal to enter an exploratory global “dialogue” on future steps to combat climate change. That proposal specifically rules out “negotiations leading to new commitments.”
The parallel tracks represented a mixed result for the pivotal two-week conference, doing little to close the climate gap between Washington on one side, and Europe, Japan and other supporters of the Kyoto Protocol on the other.
“These countries are willing to take the leadership,” Swiss delegate Bruno Oberle said of the Kyoto nations. “But they are not able to solve the problem. We need the support of the United States — but also of the big emerging countries,” a reference to China and other poorer industrializing nations not obligated under Kyoto.
“Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”
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