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Aside from U.S., Rich Nations to Cut CO2 Emissions 15-21%

emissions3Industrialized nations excluding the United States will cut greenhouse gas emissions between 15 and 21 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 under a new U.N. climate pact, reports Reuters. This means emissions by the 39 industrialized nations will drop between 10.71 and 9.86 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 from 12.53 billion metric tons in 1990, according to the news agency.

The numbers, based on different plans from countries such as Russia, Japan, Canada and the European Union, and issued to delegates during this week’s U.N. climate talks in Bonn, fall short of cuts of between 25 and 40 percent pushed by the U.N., reports Reuters.

The 2020 numbers include a pledge by New Zealand to cut emissions by 10-20 percent, while the EU, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein are offering the biggest cuts with some strings attached, reports Reuters. Canada, Japan, Belarus and Russia are planning smaller reductions.

Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told Reuters the Bonn talks among 180 nations are off to a good start and are addressing tough issues such as shortening a 200-page draft for a global U.N. climate accord to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

The U.N. chief also told Reuters that cutting greenhouse emissions will cost about $300 billion a year for mitigation of CO2 emissions and adaptation to the impacts of global warming such as rising sea levels and droughts. He noted that Copenhagen talks should start with a pledge of about $10 billion.

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