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EU to engage more with Obama on climate change
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The European Union said on Monday that it is expecting to engage more with the United States on climate change, and called on other industrialized countries to do more in addressing the global threat.

"We're expecting to engage more with President Barack Obama's team ...We're expecting that the political will of Obama will help us to have domestic negotiations in the United States in time," Brice Lalonde from the French delegation told a press conference in Poznan. France currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

The European Union has been worrying that the U.S. president-elect cannot complete a domestic legislation in time to bring any commitment to the table in Copenhagen next year, thereby threatening a possible deal to succeed the first period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

"We're discussing with the (U.S. government) staff, we're discussing with the Congress," said Lalonde, who pointed to the fact that Obama had said to cut greenhouse gas emissions down to the 1990 level by 2020.

The European Union has promised to lead the world's fight against climate change by cutting at least 20 percent of emissions by 2020 below the 1990 levels. A further 10-percent cut from the EU will be possible if other countries engage actively in emission curbs. Lalonde told reporters that the EU position on emission cuts by 2020 remains unchanged.

Arthur Runge Metzger, an official from the European Commission, said the industrialized countries "will want to continue with the approach of quantifying the emission limitation and reduction objectives."

He said a 25-40 percent emission cut by the industrialized countries by 2020 against the 1990 levels is an important guide post for any deliberations on the Kyoto Protocol, calling on other countries to come up with more efforts.

"The EU has already put something on the table since last year. There are a lot of other countries who still have to do that. I hope we're going to make progress on that in the next three months, " Metzger said.

Asked what has been achieved during the past week at the Poznan talks, he responded: "The only thing which is really agreed (upon) is the work program (for the remaining year)."

The Poznan climate talks resumed on Monday as some 10,000 delegates from about 190 countries continued to seek ways to seal a deal in Copenhagen next December. The conference, which will conclude on Dec. 12, has received low expectations due to the contagious financial crisis and pending U.S. position.

(Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2008)

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