EU, US resume climate talks in Canada

Representatives from the US, EU, Canada and Japan are meeting for two-day talks on climate change in Ottawa

Representatives from the US, EU, Canada and Japan are meeting for two-day talks on climate change in Ottawa. The new talks come two weeks after the Climate Change Summit in The Hague (COP6) failed to reach an agreement.

In Dutch The Hague, the EU refused to accept a deal with the so-called "umbrella group led by the United States, which would have given these countries more leeway for the use of international emissions trading and "carbon sinks". The EU insists that countries achieve most of their emission cuts through domestic actions, rather than by the use of these flexible instruments.

Since the "suspension" of COP6, the EU is under pressure from business circles to accept a deal before the new US government (probably under President Bush) kicks in. If the talks in Ottawa succeed, a ministerial meeting could take place next week in Oslo.

Friends of the Earth welcomed the new talks but warned the EU not to give in. "Any agreement reached in the coming months must not include unlimited credits for 'sinks' - forestry plantations and crop-land management must not become ways to avoid addressing the problem of our reliance on fossil fuels", it said.

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