Friday, June 03, 2005

New proposal for post-Kyoto targets emerges

A new proposal aimed at bridging the transatlantic divide on on long-term climate policy emerged yesterday at an annual conference on environment, Green Week, that opened Monday in Brussels. The proposal, which supporters hope will win the backing of the United States, is that after 2012 (when the first Kyoto targets expire) global emission targets could be set by industrial sector rather than by country.

One of the proponents was Edward Helme of the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington DC.

Steve Hardesty of the US representation in Brussels declined to comment on the idea during the debate. However, according to Environment Daily, he later told the publication's reporter that the Bush administration was considering such sector-specific actions. "The admission is a rare signal that the US could be open to more than just the technology partnerships it is pushing as the basis of a future global climate architecture," the publication said in its subscriber-only news service.

The European Commission's climate change unit called the possibility "very flexible and very interesting".

Environment daily also reported that Thomas Brewer, a professor at Georgetown University in the US, was positive about the proposal. It reminded him of breakthroughs achieved by world trade negotiators, he said. "From time to time they made amazing progress when they focused on specific sectors," he said. "We have a lot to learn from...half a century of diplomacy."

  • Environment Daily (subscription only)