The United States' plan to cut emissions from power plants by 30
percent by 2030, which will run into domestic opposition, prompted
the European Union into a defense of its own record.
China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, also gave a
hint that it would set some kind of cap on its emissions.
A draft of the G7 communique seen by Reuters said the leaders
affirmed their "strong determination" to adopt a new global deal in
2015 that is "ambitious, inclusive and reflects changing global
It said the G7 nations - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan and the United States - remained committed to low-carbon
economies and limiting temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius above
pre-industrial levels, the limit scientists say can prevent the most
devastating effects of climate change.
The communique produced at a summit in Brussels also committed G7
nations to announce national contributions to reducing emissions by
the first quarter of next year, ahead of a Paris conference on
deciding a global deal in December 2015.
At the same time, the G7 offered the EU support with its efforts to
make its energy supplies more secure, promising to "complement the
efforts of the European Commission to develop emergency energy plans
for winter 2014-2015".
In Europe, the quest for energy security in the face of threats from
Russia that it could disrupt supplies of gas pumped through Ukraine,
has knocked the climate debate down the agenda.
But addressing the G7 in Brussels, Commission President Jose Manuel
Barroso said the two issues went "hand in hand".
EU nations say domestic, renewable sources, such as solar and wind,
can reduce the need for fossil fuel imports from nations such as
Russia, while Poland, which relies on polluting coal, says coal is a
reliable, domestic fuel source.
Of the G7 nations, Japan and Canada have pulled out of the Kyoto
process on tackling climate change. The United States signed but did
not ratify the original treaty.
Republicans in Congress are expected to resist the latest U.S.
proposals, but the plans can still help.
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"I think it puts the United States in a strong position to lift up
the need for international action heading into next year on concrete
plans to reduce emissions," Ben Rhodes, deputy national security
advisor, told reporters.
Connie Hedegaard, the EU Climate Commissioner, said the EU was still
in the vanguard and would "substantially over-achieve" its targets
for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, delivering more than
its promised 20 percent cut versus 1990 levels.
"None of them wants to be perceived as the laggard, which is a good
thing," Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said on
the sidelines of preparatory talks for the 2015 deal in Bonn this
The United States' plans are for the U.S. power sector to cut CO2
emissions by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005.
In addition, it has an existing national goal, set in 2009, to cut
emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, equivalent to 3.5
percent below levels in 1990 - the U.N. benchmark year - after a
sharp rise in emissions in the 1990s.
Following on from its 2020 goal, the EU is trying to reach agreement
on 2030 targets.
In January, the EU executive put forward the idea of 40 percent cut
by 2030 and in March EU leaders gave themselves until October to
agree on the target.
(Additional reporting by Luke Baker, Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason
in Brussels and Alister Doyle in Bonn. Editing by Mike Peacock)
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