Countries Fail to Reach Agreement in Climate Talks

Posted June 6th, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Countries around the world arguing about who should commit to greater cuts in greenhouse gas emissions have run out of time to agree on a new deal once the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Speaking Monday at the start of a two-week session in Germany on the climate, the United Nations' leading climate official, Christiana Figueres, said it is unlikely that any new deal would be ratified in time to succeed Kyoto.

That would potentially leave the world without a legally binding text to curb nations' greenhouse gas emissions. But Figueres said interested countries are coming up with creative ways on how to deal with that gap.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol requires the almost 40 industrialized nations that have signed onto the agreement to cap their emissions. Despite the efforts, the International Energy Agency says that in 2010 energy-related carbon emissions were at a record high.

Negotiators disagree as to whether industrialized nations should impose deeper cuts on their emissions, or whether rapidly developing nations should do more instead.

The International Energy Agency says that in 2008, the five leading emitters were China, the United States, Russia, India and Japan.