World Bulletin / News Desk
EU talks to agree tactics ahead of an international climate summit in Doha next month ended in disarray on Thursday, after coal-dependent Poland led opposition to more ambitious attempts to curb atmospheric pollution.
The bitter spat over a huge surplus of U.N. pollution permits was highly technical, but EU officials said it had serious implications for U.N. efforts to tackle climate change.
"We have not moved at all," an EU official said on condition of anonymity. "The lack of agreement could endanger a second commitment period."
The European Union has taken a leading role in the Kyoto process, the only international framework for tackling climate change, whose first phase expires at the end of this year.
Many EU nations have said the European Union's environmental integrity would be undermined if it held on to an excess of allowances - officially named Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) and referred to disparagingly as "hot air".
But Poland has repeatedly opposed efforts to stop it keeping its hoard of AAUs and on Thursday it had garnered the support of other eastern European and Baltic states. EU officials referred to "an east-west divide".
Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec confirmed a text agreed on Thursday had merely repeated previous wording and effectively "side-stepped" the AAU question.
"This is a slight problem for negotiation (in Doha)," he said.
Cyprus, holder of the rotating EU presidency, said the AAU discussion could continue.
"We will attempt to obtain an agreement in Doha. This is the mandate that the council (of environment ministers) has given to both the presidency and the EU," Sofoclis Aletraris, Cyprus' minister of agriculture, natural resources and environment, told reporters.
Korolec said the so-called hot air, was "an acquired right".
Poland has met its emissions-cutting goals, he said, leaving it with permits to spare, which can be sold to countries that have exceeded their pollution limits.
On the opposite side of the debate, nations, such as Britain, Denmark, France and Germany, have argued the excess permits need to be cancelled, not only to ensure EU integrity and climate ambition, but to create a level playing field for all nations, including developing countries.
Emerging economies were not part of the first Kyoto commitment period and therefore have no surplus permits to retain or sell on.
Agreement on AAUs proved impossible a year ago when, as then EU president, Poland was at the head of the EU delegation to the Durban conference on climate change.
Last year's Durban deal managed to keep the Kyoto process alive, but was heavily criticised for its lack of detail. Debate beginning in Doha on Nov. 26 will attempt to plug major gaps, such as fixing the length of a second commitment period.
EU leadership was crucial to achieving any kind of accord in Durban last year, when its negotiating hand was strengthened by an alliance with small nations, including islands, which are sinking as ice caps melt and sea levels rise.
Apart from the problem with the AAUs, that alliance could be undermined by the reluctance of the world's richer nations to agree on new sources of financing to help poor countries cope with the challenge of climate change, non-governmental organisations have warned.
The European Union has committed cash for the period 2010-12, but has repeatedly failed to come up with any figures beyond then.
Thursday's EU environment ministers' meeting in Luxembourg only agreed vague wording on financing, leaving it for EU finance ministers meeting on Nov. 13 to make any more precise commitments.
Arab world’s biggest e-commerce retailer hopes to expand delivery capabilities, customer selection
More than 6 jobs lost for every robot installed at factories
With few details made public, speculation about Neuralink centers on the name and how it might correspond to Musk's previous statements about incorporating artificial intelligence, or AI, into human brains.
Announcement comes days before company unveils newest smartphone
Tasks focused on readying space station to accept commercial manned spacecraft
Its vice-chairman Lee Jae-Yong, heir to the parent Samsung group, has since been arrested and indicted for bribery, along with four other senior executives, in connection with the graft scandal that saw ex-president Park Geun-Hye impeached.
Google’s advertising crisis went global after some of the biggest marketers including AT&T Inc. and Johnson & Johnson halted spending on YouTube and the internet company’s display network, citing concern their ads would run alongside offensive videos.
Turkey's Roketsan, Aselsan, Turkish Aerospace Industries and Shipbuilders’ Association attend exhibition in Kedah state
The satellite will be place in orbit more that 35,000 kilometers above the earth and provide telecommunications service to Brazil, SpaceX said.
Russia's FSB hired 'criminal hackers' to attack Yahoo seeking access to journalists, diplomats, executives
New study finds that sonic waves can be exploited to compromise smartphones, fitness trackers and other gadgets
US chipmaker taking over Israeli firm for approximately $15.3 billion
The EU Chamber of Commerce said in a report state subsidies of hundreds of billions of dollars and foreign technology transfers in 10 sectors were "highly problematic" and urged China to stop interfering in the market.
Top executive Kalanick, known for being brash and aggressive in propelling Uber's rise, could now become a liability as the company deals with more complex corporate issues, say some analysts.
"This is a milestone on Norway's road to an electric car fleet," Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen said