[JURIST] Asian and European countries agreed Tuesday to set new international emissions standards by 2009, after a two-day conference in Hamburg, Germany that included representatives from over 40 nations. Supporters of the new deadline said it was necessary in light of the impending 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Protocol [text; JURIST news archive], which currently governs international greenhouse gases. Attendees also discussed the need for global promotion of alternative energy sources, agreeing to a tentative outline for the different responsibilities of richer and poorer nations in emissions reduction [JURIST news archive]. The European Union has begun exerting pressure on major polluters in Asia, but many Asian countries have indicated they will only reduce emissions in exchange for European green technology. The EU has so far been reluctant to accept the trade, but the first round of negotiations is scheduled to begin in December in Bali, Indonesia. AP has more.
The US has rejected the conference's deadline to reduce emissions globally as too broad. According to chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality James Connaughton [official profile], the Bush administration favors a policy which sets goals in the context of national circumstances, rather than a global mandate. The US also rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol because it excluded developing countries from the restrictions and many feared it would disproportionately harm the US economy. AP has more.