US move would jeopardise Bali outcome, says WWF

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New Delhi, Dec 14 (UNI) Environmental group World Wildlife Fund(WWF) has expressed disappointment over the US opposition to European Union-backed proposal at Bali UN climate talks settting the target for rich nations to cut emissions by between 25 and 40 per cent by 2020, a Bali declaration.

Washington says any figures would prejudge the negotiations.The Bali outcome would guide talks on a pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.

In the early hours today, after nearly two weeks' of talks, the United States surprised everyone by producing a new proposal for voluntary - not legally binding - emissions reductions that appeared to go back more than a decade.

''At the eleventh hour, the US has submitted a proposal that is the equivalent of taking no action at all against climate change,'' WWF International Director General James P Leape said in a statement in Bali, a copy of which was made available here.

One compromise draft by Indonesia retains he target for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak in the next 10-15 years and to fall well below half of 2000 levels by 2050. But it drops the 25-40 percent range for rich nations by 2020.

''This proposal would gut the international effort towards halting climate change and put the future of our planet at risk,'' WWF said.

The Bush administration has a moral obligation to make commitments that are commensurate with their contribution to the climate crisis, said WWF Global Climate Change Director Hans Verolme.

''The US government, aided by a small group of nations including Canada and Japan, has over the last few days thrown up several roadblocks in the negotiations. We are pleased that several large emerging economies, including China, Brazil, and South Africa, are still showing flexibility and creativity in their contributions to the Bali negotiations,'' it said.

A compromise text, trying to end a dispute between the United States and the European Union on the last day of two-week UN talks, retained an ambition for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak in the next 10-15 years and to fall well below half of 2000 levels by 2050.

The European Union had so far been pressing for greenhouse gas emissions cuts for rich nations -- by 25-40 percent on 1990 levels by 2020.

The text did not include a US proposal tabled late last night that all countries should only aspire to national emissions targets.

It retained part of the previous texts that put the main burden on the developed nations.

It said that all developed countries should consider ''quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments'' and developing nations should consider ''measurable and reportable national mitigation actions.'' The talks, which were scheduled to end today are to continue into Saturday.

UNI

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