Future of climate treaty in the balance

Representatives of around 100 countries ended a meeting in Geneva early in September without a glimmer of agreement on whether tougher new targets are needed to control emissions of greenhouse gases - and whether an attempt to adopt these should be made at a ministerial conference to review the 1992 UN Convention on Climate Change in Berlin next spring. But an alliance of island nations at risk from rising sea levels has since tabled proposals for industrialised countries to pursue a 20% reduction in their emissions of carbon dioxide by 2005 - providing a focus for the discussions in Berlin.

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