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UN climate conference concludes with weak commitment
Updated: 2004-12-19 10:50

The 10th United Nations Conference on Climate Change concluded Saturday with a weak commitment to future talks on the reduction of pollutant emissions.

The question of what to do once the Kyoto Protocol on climate change expires in 2012 dominated the 11-day United Nations climate conference of about 2,000 diplomats and environment ministers.

Raul Estrada, head of the Argentine delegation, said after long negotiations that the United States reached an agreement with the Europeans, while representatives of other countries expressed their reservations.

What the annual climate conference approved was only a "seminar " next May at Bonn, Germany, at which governments can only informally exchange information on green house gas reduction, advances in technology and adaptation to climate change.

Experts blamed the emission of green house gases for global warming, which, they said, if not stopped, will have fatal consequences on biodiversity in the future.

However, the US, the largest producer of emissions, avoided any commitment to formally negotiate mandatory reductions in emissions, arguing the Kyoto Protocol, which the Bush administration renounced in 2001, would damage the US economy.

Meanwhile, representatives of India, Brazil and other big developing countries, also consider it impossible to reduce the emissions of green house gases.

The Kyoto Protocol, effective next February, established a schedule of emissions cut for 30 industrial countries that ratified it. Under the protocol, the European Union must cut emissions by 8 percent below 1990 levels and Japan and Canada by 6 percent by 2012.

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