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US, EU differ on future climate change negotiations

A week after the resumption of this year’s biggest climate negotiations, differences have emerged between the US and the European Union on the approach for future talks.

world Updated: Jun 08, 2010 00:25 IST
Chetan Chauhan

A week after the resumption of this year’s biggest climate negotiations, differences have emerged between the US and the European Union on the approach for future talks.

Till recently, the two had been backing each other for not extending Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period beyond 2012.

At Bonn, however, US officials appear to have softened their stand on Kyoto Protocol, saying they don’t mind it being discussed. “US is not a signatory to Kyoto and, therefore, any discussion on it does not matter to it,” said an Indian negotiator, participating at the 185-nation conference, biggest after the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009.

The European Union, on the other hand, says there is no future for Kyoto Protocol and wants to discuss the new climate agreement where some responsibility is defined for all nations. The view is opposed by developing nations represented by G-77 plus China.

The Copenhagen summit had struggled to overcome suspicions on sharing a global effort to curb greenhouse gases.

At Bonn, things don’t seem different. Differences resurfaced on Monday when Latin American nations, the US and South Africa said they could not launch negotiations on the basis of a text published in mid-May, which outlines a range of options for fighting climate change.

Chief South African delegate Alf Wills said the document put too much burden on developing nations, devoting a whole chapter to emissions curbs by the South but not the North. “It’s completely unbalanced in that respect,” he said.

Other major economies — India and China — have backed South African view.

However, Karsten Sach, leader of Germany’s delegation, said: “We think it is a basis for negotiation.”