Bali Eco Summit Nears Collapse

US, EU in standoff over new carbon limits
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2007 4:00 AM CST
Activists hold a banner during an anti-nuclear demonstration outside the venue of the U.N. climate conference in Nusa Dua on Bali island, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A face-off between American and European environment officials has pushed the Bali climate change talks to the breaking point, with United Nations officials warning that the summit could collapse "like a house of cards." Delegates in Bali are sharply divided over the guidelines for the next two years of formal talks on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which will establish new carbon caps for industrial nations.

The EU wants a statement pledging industrial nations to reduce carbon emissions by 25%-40%, while the US refuses any document with figures. "We are a bit disappointed that all the world is still waiting for the United States," said the environment minister from Portugal, which currently holds the EU presidency. Talks might run past tomorrow's deadline as the Indonesian hosts hold out for a deal.