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Blame Game: U.S. Squabbles Holding Up International Climate Deal

There is slim hope that the next UN climate change summit in Mexico will produce a binding treaty on cutting carbon emissions, after US climate change legislation was put on hold, Indian Minister of State, Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has said.

“It looks like we will have to come back to Cape Town in 2011,” Ramesh said after a one-day meeting with his counterparts from Brazil, China and South Africa yesterday.

“The need for a Cop 17 should not be ruled out,” he added.

The ministers of the four developing nations agreed that a delay in tabling a comprehensive climate change bill in the US Senate, announced on Saturday, has dealt a blow to the prospects of concluding a binding treaty at the summit in Cancun, Mexico in November, dubbed Cop 16.

The US climate bill reportedly aims to cut greenhouse gases to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Brazilian Environment Minister Isabella Texeira said it was vital to bring the US on board in order to stitch up a binding successor for the Kyoto Protocol, and that developing nations would lobby Washington in this regard in the run-up to the Cancun summit.

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