EU: China, U.S. Hinder Climate Change Efforts

European Union urged U.S. and China to deliver greenhouse gas emissions target, saying their delays were hindering global efforts to curb climate change.

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union on Monday urged the U.S. and China to deliver greenhouse gas emissions targets at next month's climate conference in Copenhagen, saying their delays were hindering global efforts to curb climate change.

Two weeks before the U.N.-sponsored conference, the world's largest polluters have not put any firm bids on the table.

"That strategy is untenable," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt wrote on an EU Web site. "It provides no global answer. It does not solve the threat of climate change."

Sweden currently holds the EU's rotating presidency and heads talks between the 27 EU nations.

The U.S. still has not committed to figures for its own emissions reductions or financing, with negotiators waiting until Congress completes domestic climate legislation.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said last week that nations would each do what they were able -- referring to China's view that developing nations should not be required to make cuts. China has promised to curb emissions but has not said by how much.

World leaders are no longer expected to reach a legally binding agreement in Copenhagen, and are aiming instead for a political deal that includes commitments on reducing emissions and financing for developing countries to deal with climate change.

"We still expect all content to be agreed upon at Copenhagen," Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said in Brussels, where EU environment ministers were meeting to hammer out their final position for the talks.

A panel of U.N. scientists has recommended that developed countries make cuts of between 25 percent and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to avoid a catastrophic rise in sea levels, harsher storms and droughts and climate disruptions.

The EU aims for deeper cuts than most other industrialized nations -- pledging to move from a 20 percent cut below 1990 levels to 30 percent if others follow suit. By 2050, it wants to eliminate most emissions, with a target of up to 95 percent.

The U.S. is considering a far lower cut -- 17 percent from 2005 levels or about 3.5 percent from 1990. Japan has promised a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels. Per head, Americans account for twice the emissions compared to Europeans and Japanese.

While the EU sees itself as a trailblazer, it has delayed promising cash to poorer nations to help them tackle global warming. EU leaders have pledged to pay their "fair share" into an annual global fund but gave no amount.

They estimated that euro100 billion ($148 billion) a year is needed and that half should come from governments. The EU's executive suggested that the 27 EU governments should give up to euro15 billion ($22 billion) a year from 2013 to 2020.

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