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Little progress at Nairobi

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Xan Rice

No deal on a deadline for emission targets

Nairobi: Environmental campaigners expressed anger on Friday after a UN climate change conference in Nairobi ended without major breakthroughs.

More than 180 countries agreed to review the Kyoto protocol, which requires rich countries to limit greenhouse emissions, in 2008. But there was no deal on a deadline for setting global targets that will apply after 2012, when Kyoto expires. Nor were there any signs that the U.S. and Australia, which have rejected the treaty, would consider signing a successor agreement, or that industrialising countries such as China and India would agree to cut their carbon emissions.

The Kyoto review would show how much or how little progress has been made in tackling global warming. If the latter, the results could put pressure on rich nations to agree steeper cuts and on developing countries to limit emissions. Barbara Helfferich, a European Commission spokeswoman, said the timing of the review would ensure there was no gap between Kyoto and ``son of Kyoto.''

But environmentalists were unhappy with the outcome. ``It means that the Kyoto show is still rolling on, which is good,'' said Andrew Pendleton of Christian Aid.

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006

CO2 credits

Reuters reports:

Some 165 countries, which have signed the Kyoto Protocol, allowed Belarus into a club of 35 industrialised countries that face binding limits on their emissions of greenhouse gases from 2008-12.

But Belarus is within its target to cut emissions, meaning it can sell surplus rights to emit to other countries in the club some of which are well above their limits .

Belarus could sell 46 million tonnes of such rights per year from 2008 to 2012, estimated Greenpeace on Friday, which could put downward pressure on carbon prices in the European market.

Environmental groups have criticised such trading as it allows the buyer to continue to emit greenhouse gases while not requiring the seller to cuts its emissions.

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