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EU Denies Seeking To Hide CO2 Emissions Levels, Envoy Lefevere Says

Mathew Carr, Bloomberg

The European Union’s request for more time to count and review greenhouse-gas levels is due to an unrealistic deadline and not an effort to hide emissions, according to Juergen Lefevere, a climate envoy for the bloc.

The EU wants to delay a compliance report for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol until after 2015 because the review of nations’ emissions, which won’t be drafted until April, will take more than a year to complete, Lefevere said by phone yesterday from United Nations climate talks in Warsaw. “It has nothing to do with transparency,” he said.

Alf Wills, deputy director-general of environmental affairs at South Africa’s environment ministry, said yesterday the EU’s request meant some developed nations won’t have reported on emissions for the five years through 2012 before setting targets for a 2020 climate deal. That represented “backtracking” on commitments, Wills told reporters in Warsaw.

Climate talks aren’t moving fast enough and richer nations, instead of boosting goals, are stepping back, said Wills. After almost two weeks of negotiations in the Polish capital, countries still haven’t agreed on the legal form, content and timetables needed to establish a deal for 2020, Su Wei, China’s negotiator, told reporters yesterday.

The UN conference, slated to finish tomorrow, aims to put in place a treaty by 2015 that could replace the Kyoto Protocol, the only international pact limiting fossil-fuel emissions. The new deal would come into force in 2020.

Forcing the EU to undertake their emissions review within a year may “automatically” put the bloc out of compliance with Kyoto rules, which also require a three-month period where nations buy and sell emission credits to match their greenhouse-gas commitments, the EU’s Lefevre said.

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