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Default Stance Of Climate Negotiators - Wait Until 2008 - IHT

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 01:35 PM
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Default Stance Of Climate Negotiators - Wait Until 2008 - IHT
NEW YORK Delegates flying to Kenya next week for a global conference on climate are watching they way U.S. elections turn as much as the rise in temperatures in their effort to cool planetary warming. Talks to extend the Kyoto Protocol's caps on greenhouse-gas emissions beyond 2012 have been marking time while governments try to draw President George W. Bush's administration, which rejects Kyoto, into the process.

This year's Nov. 7 U.S. congressional elections may help their cause, but the diplomat chairing the talks says 2008, the year of the next presidential vote, will be the watershed. "I would imagine it" U.S. involvement "would take place after the next presidential election," said Michael Zammit Cutajar of Malta.


A key player in climate diplomacy, the European Union's environment commissioner, Stavros Dimas, sees "a very important development" in changing attitudes among some U.S. businesses. Heavyweight companies from Shell Oil to Wal-Mart have endorsed mandatory emissions reductions. But Dimas agreed U.S. mandates may have to await a new American president.

"I cannot understand why President Bush will not do what his successor will most probably do, that is, introduce a U.S. cap for carbon," he said in a telephone interview from Brussels. "The earlier the United States moves to exercise leadership, together with us, the earlier we shall have beneficial results for the world and the U.S."

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