Europe Stands up to America

Finally, someone other than Hugo Chavez is growing a spine:

From the AP:

European nations on Thursday threatened to boycott U.S.-led climate

talks next month unless Washington accepts a range of numbers for

negotiating deep reductions of global-warming emissions at a U.N.

conference here.

The move raised the stakes as delegates from nearly 190 nations

entered final-hour talks on Bali aimed at launching negotiations for a

successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

The United States, Japan and several other governments refuse to

accept language in a draft document suggesting that industrialized

nations consider cutting emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020,

saying specific targets would limit the scope of future talks.

The European Union and others say the figures reflect the measures

scientists say are needed to rein in global warming and head off

predictions of rising sea levels, worsening floods and droughts, and

the extinction of plant and animal species.

“No result in Bali means no Major Economies Meeting,” said Sigmar

Gabriel, top EU environment official from Germany, referring to a

series of separate climate talks initiated by President Bush in

September. “This is the clear position of the EU. I do not know what we

should talk about if there is no target.”

The U.S. invited 16 other major economies, including European

countries, Japan, China and India, to discuss a program of what are

expected to be nationally determined, voluntary cutbacks in greenhouse

gas emissions.

The Bush administration views the major economies process as the

main vehicle for determining future steps by the U.S. — and it hopes by

others — to slow emissions. But environmentalists accuse the U.S. of

trying to undermine the U.N. process.

The talks in Bali are scheduled to wrap up Friday.

U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer said he was worried the U.S.-EU

deadlock could derail the process and that a final “Bali roadmap” would

contain an agreement to negotiate a new climate deal by 2009, but may

not include specific targets for emission reductions.

“I’m very concerned about the pace of things,” he said. “If we don’t

get wording on the future, then the whole house of cards falls to

pieces.”

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Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.