U.N. climate talks in key phase in Canada

December 7, 2005

Environment ministers from around the world have gathered in Montreal for U.N. climate talks that are entering a key phase.

At issue is what nations will do after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, the BBC reported. The United States has, so far, blocked moves to limit carbon emissions.

The United States is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, fearing its implementation could harm development and economic growth.

Canadian Environment Minister Stephane Dion has proposed a wider discussion of what various nations might be prepared to do. Although the response was generally favorable, the BBC noted the United States, India and some of the world's major oil producing nations do not seem to be in favor of the proposal.

A leading U.S. climatologist, James Hansen, has warned just 2 degrees Fahrenheit more of worldwide warming would produce climate patterns the Earth has not experienced for more than 500,000 years, the BBC said.

Hansen, addressing the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting this week in San Francisco, estimated the world has one decade to effectively stop global warming.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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