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Climate treaty possible by 2015 - EU

7 Jun 2011, 1.44 am GMT

Bonn, 7 June (Argus) — Countries may take another four years to arrive at a comprehensive climate agreement, according to EU negotiators at the latest round of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks being held in Bonn, Germany.

Between 2014 and 2015 represents “a realistic time perspective” for a full treaty, the EU's chief negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger admitted. By then, more data on the full impact of climate change will be available, which “could be usefully employed to secure the process”, he said.

Any such agreement will have to go beyond the Kyoto protocol given the limited support among developed countries for a second commitment period, Runge-Metzger added. He did not rule out the EU committing to a new set of emission reduction targets as a way of resolving any gap between the end of the Kyoto protocol's first period and a successor treaty, as long as other countries commit to legally binding targets at a future date. “It depends on what the assurance looks like,” Runge-Metzger said. “It needs to be a firm commitment.”

EU negotiators hope that the EU's low-carbon roadmap to 2050 could also serve as an example for other countries to move forward. The roadmap envisages the EU cutting its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by a quarter by 2020, as part of long-term plans to reduce emissions by 80-95pc by 2050. But negotiators insisted that the roadmap does not supersede the EU's existing international commitment to cut GHG emissions by 20pc by 2020. “It might be that we overachieve” on our target, Hungarian negotiator Jozsef Feiler said.

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