US efforts to block talks on greenhouse gases reduction

The U.S. rallied the support of China and India to block European Union efforts to start talks on how to reduce greenhouse gases after 2012, when the &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Kyoto Protocolon climate changes expires. China and India support U.S. efforts to limit proposed talks next year on implementing current plans to reduce &to=http:// ' target=_blank>greenhouse gases, Harlen Watson, who co-heads the U.S. delegation at a climate change conference in Buenos Aires, said.

The U.S., which withdrew from Kyoto in 2001 and refuses to impose limits on emissions by power plants and factories, will lobby other countries to oppose the EU proposal, Watson said.

"We don't see the seminar as focusing on post-Kyoto arrangement," Paula Dobriansky, U.S. under secretary of state for global affairs said at the conference, said at a news conference. "We think that's premature", reports Bloomberg.

EU &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told Reuters in an interview that the EU must stick to what it believes in -- legally binding emissions cuts -- despite calls from some corners this week for a less rigid stance.

"I think what we should do is try to get on everybody on board with mandatory reductions," said Dimas, a Greek lawyer who has held this post for less than a month.

U.S. delegation head Paula Dobriansky ruled out mandatory caps and reiterated it is too soon to talk about post-2012.

"Our policy is that we do not support mandatory targets or timetables," Dobriansky, Undersecretary for Global Affairs at the State Department, said in an interview, informs Reuters.

According to the Turkish Press, environment ministers from 90 countries are at the Buenos Aires conference which started December 6 and ends Friday.

The Argentine hosts were trying Thursday to secure agreement from the 20 key nations at the event on a closing statement.

The European Union has rejected a proposed text which said there would be just one informal meeting in May 2005 -- which was what the United States wanted -- neither does it make any reference to the future of the negotiations.

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