EU’s Hedegaard Says CO2 Patterns Blur Rich-Poor Nations Division

The European Union urged developing nations at a global climate summit to step up their pledges to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and contribute to an EU plan to agree a global deal that could enter into force by 2020.

Efforts to cut pollution by the 27-nation bloc and other countries that support the extension of emission-reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 aren’t enough to keep the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said as negotiators from 190 countries started talks in Durban, South Africa.

Economic expansion in countries including Brazil, China and South Korea blurs the “sharp distinction” between developed and developing countries and calls for more action by the latter, Hedegaard said in a statement on her website.

“The world simply cannot fight climate change effectively without China and other emerging economies committing,” she said. “According to the International Energy Agency, today’s rise in CO2 pollution is mainly driven by coal-reliant emerging economies. And this trend will only increase.”

The objection of Canada, Russia and Japan to adopting further commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and the opposition of the U.S. to the treaty are also a “challenge,” according to Hedegaard. The EU is open to extending its Kyoto goals beyond 2012 on certain conditions, including a road map to a globally binding deal, a requirement the bloc says will keep pressure on other nations and allow a bridging mechanisms.

“If the EU was to take up a second Kyoto period with a few other developed economies, it might cover at most 16 percent of global emissions, where the first Kyoto period covered around one third of global emissions,” Hedegaard said. “How can this be labeled a success for the climate?”

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