The New York Times reports on the stalemate in this article (excerpt below):
By THOMAS FULLER
Published: December 12, 2007
This article was reported by Thomas Fuller, Peter Gelling and Andrew C. Revkin, and was written by Mr. Fuller.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia — As a United Nations conference on global warming here entered its final stretch, the United States and the European Union remained deadlocked on Tuesday on whether countries should commit now to specific emissions reductions in an agreement that may not be finalized for two more years.
Over the weekend, officials from the United Nations, backed by the European Union and many developing countries, offered a draft plan for talks over the next two years, including a statement that dangerous warming can be avoided only if industrialized countries cut emissions by 2020 to levels 25 to 40 percent below those of 1990.
But on Tuesday the United States held firmly opposed to such language.
This year’s studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that centuries of warming, rising seas and species extinctions would probably result unless there were sharp curbs in climate-warming emissions within a few decades.
“Logic requires that we listen to the science,” said Stavros Dimas, the European Union’s environment commissioner. “I would expect others to follow that logic.”
The Bush administration opposes including hard targets at this stage in the talks. Other countries, including Japan and Canada, are beginning to side with the United States on the need for any new climate agreements to include meaningful steps by fast-growing countries like China and India. And calls for concrete limits have consistently been refused by those nations.