‘US biggest obstacle in Bali’

Hopes were high on Friday morning that an agreement could be reached at the UN climate summit in Bali. The Dutch senior UN official Yvo de Boer said it is unlikely that the meeting would end without a deal.

‘There is such public pressure to develop a result here that I do not believe ministers will be able to leave this conference without a political answer to the scientific message they have received,’ De Boer, executive secretary at the UN convention on climate change, told the BBC.
Earlier, it looked as if the US and Europe would not be able to reach a compromise, leading Dutch environment minister Jacqueline Cramer to describe America as ‘the biggest obstacle’ to a deal.
The European Union wants the final text to include a specific commitment that the industrialised nations will cut their emissions by up to 40% by 2020. But the US and Canada want a voluntary deal to apply to all countries, whether they are rich or poor.
‘They [the Americans] want to chuck everyone onto one pile,’ Cramer told ANP news service. ‘That means you end up with a woolly formula without detailing what commitments developed countries actually have.’
Europe wants ‘firm, measurable targets,’ Cramer said, adding that Russia too has difficulties with setting fixed targets.

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