EU plans bold cut in carbon emissions; UN urged to widen Kyoto

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The 27-nation European Union is set to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, EU officials say.

A report in the Scotsman newspaper said the new goal would be more ambitious than the eight per cent cut adopted for the 2008-12 period by the 15-member EU before it was expanded in 2004.

Pledging to extend and deepen the cuts could boost the EU‘s emissions trading system, which has faltered because governments initially issued too many permits. Fewer permits would raise the price of emitting , EU officials say. The system allows polluting industries to buy and sell emissions credits.

The EU will also challenge industrial nations worldwide to agree to a collective cut of 30 per cent by 2020.

The EU move follows an urgent call from Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Climate Secretariat, for a meeting of heads of government to decide the next steps against global warming. A Reuters dispatch said de Boer said there’s little time to prepare a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The last annual UN meeting of about 100 environment ministers, in Nairobi in November, made scant progress on finding ways to widen the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol.

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