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US Ready To Accept Binding Emissions Obligations

smoke2.jpgThe U.S. is ready to accept “binding international obligations” on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to James Connaughton and Daniel Price, environmental and economics advisers to President Bush, BBC reports. The Bush administration wants some kind of binding commitment from major developing countries such as China, India and Brazil.

“The U.S. is prepared to enter into binding international obligations to reduce greenhouse gases as part of a global agreement in which all major economies similarly undertake binding international obligations,” said Price, the president’s deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.

On the heels of this announcement, EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas has traveled to the U.S. for talks on a possible binding international agreement on reducing greenhouse gases, The Australian reports.

An agreement could be announced “in conjunction” with the G8 summit of the world’s must industrialized nations in Japan in July.

At the Bali conference in December, the EU wanted an agreement to require developed countries to cut their emissions by 25 to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020 to be included in the Bali Plan. The U.S., Japan and Canada opposed those targets. When these specific guidelines were removed from wording about future emission cuts, a compromise was reached which sets the stage for global warming negotiations that will end in 2009.

In addition to today’s news concerning the U.S., major emissions news has been reported from Japan and Canada recently.

Japan is considering compulsory caps on greenhouse gas emissions and a domestic emissions trading scheme for its reluctant companies as it is expected to make tougher commitments in the post-Kyoto Protocol phase, Reuters reported last week.

British Columbia delivered a budget last week that included a carbon tax, CTV reports. On July 1, 2008, the province will begin phasing in the carbon tax, which will hit gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane, and home heating fuel. The starting rate will be based on $10 per tonne of carbon emissions, and rise $5 a year to $30 per tonne by 2012.

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