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EU to Assess Its Post-2012 Commitment to Kyoto, Delbeke Says

The European Union may need a “reflection period” on greenhouse gas-reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, as some countries signaled they don’t want to sign up for the mechanism.

Jos Delbeke, director general for climate at the European Commission, the EU regulatory arm, told a seminar in Brussels today that the bloc was flexible at the climate summit in Cancun last month on the second commitment period under the treaty and continues to be open.

“The U.S. has made it very clear they’ll never join the Kyoto Protocol treaty, and we have heard Japan, followed by Russia and other major players, have made clear they are not going to sign up for a second commitment period,” Delbeke said. “So for the EU, there’s a very important question how much we like the Kyoto Protocol, how much it’s pointless to find ourselves alone under the protocol. We have to digest that.”

Delbeke said an international agreement to cut greenhouse gases is still “desirable and achievable,” though a binding deal is not going to happen in an “immediate future.”

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