(AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Thursday for all countries to fix binding climate change targets next year at the latest, acknowledging that no such deal is likely at global talks in Copenhagen next month.
In a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, she said they were both worried that ambitions for countries to agree on cuts to greenhouse gas emissions at Copenhagen "seem to have shrunk."
"Next year, if possible during the first half, we must clinch a binding deal which will have international oversight of each country's obligations," she told reporters on the margins of an EU leaders' summit in Brussels.
Sarkozy said he and Merkel both planned to attend the United Nations conference in Denmark on Dec. 17-18 to push for a deal that limits global warming by no more than 2 degrees by 2050 - and called on other EU heads of state to join them.
"We do not want a summit with bad compromises," he said. "Europe has done a lot, we need movement from all parts of the world."
A panel of U.N. scientists has recommended that developed countries make emissions cuts of between 25 percent and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid a catastrophic rise in sea levels, harsher storms and droughts and climate disruptions.
The European Union has vowed to slash its emissions by 20 percent by 2020 - and to increase that to 30 percent if other regions also agree to major reductions. Russia and Japan are promising a 25 percent cut over the same period.
The U.S. is considering a far smaller cut - 17 percent from 2005 levels or about 3.5 percent from 1990.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: Vietnam rice boom heaping pressure on farmers, environment