As COP 17 comes to a close, European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard blamed China and India for resisting the EU-designed “road map” designed to succeed the Kyoto Protocol which is set to expire in 2012.
Although support has grown for the EU plan, it may not be enough. African nations, 43 island states and 48 of the world’s least developed countries have said that they back the EU plan for binding targets by 2015. Even Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent said Ottawa had forged a partnership with small island states
The EU roadmap calls for UN talks to agree on a mandate to negotiate by 2015, a new climate deal covering all major economies, in return for the bloc signing up to a second period of emissions cuts under the existing Kyoto treaty.
The EU wants action from other countries as the Kyoto Protocol, which was never ratified by the US and does not cover major economies such as China, accounts for just 15% of world greenhouse gas emissions.
US agreement is difficult due to opposition from Congress, which must ratify any treaty. Nonetheless, climate change envoy Todd Stern said Washington supports an EU roadmap to a new treaty. Stern told reporters. “The EU has called for a roadmap (to a future deal). We support that.” However, last night the US said it would not agree to talks for a legally binding deal.