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No deals in France climate talks on emissions

Negotiators from the world's most polluting countries have failed to agree on specific goals for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Negotiators from the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases wrapped up another round of climate talks Friday by clashing over how deeply to cut the heat-trapping gases they put into the atmosphere.

The delegates from 16 nations scheduled more talks next month in trying to produce a new climate accord.

Addressing the negotiators, French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned that warming is threatening food supplies and risks sparking a dozen Darfur-like conflicts among displaced, starving people around the world.

He said water shortages and rivalry over farmland and fishing resources are already "having a considerable impact on security," especially in Africa.

"In Darfur, we see this explosive mixture from the impact of climate change, which prompts emigration by increasingly impoverished people, which then has consequences in war," he said.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur and more than 2 million have fled their homes since ethnic Africans took up arms against Sudan's Arab-dominated government in early 2003, complaining of decades of neglect and discrimination.

"If we continue in this direction, climate change will encourage migrations of populations who have nothing left toward territory where populations don't have much, and the Darfur crisis will be just one crisis among dozens of others," Sarkozy said.

Debate over how much to cut emissions
Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the French co-chairman of the two-day meeting, said the talks were dominated by debate over how much to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to global warming.

"There were divergences" between the United States and the European Union, said Jouyet, France's junior minister for Europe. He did not elaborate.

The EU has pledged to cut its emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, while the United States has not committed to any fixed emissions cuts. Speaking in Washington on Wednesday, President Bush said only that the U.S. should stop the rise in its emissions by 2025.

The 16 countries represented produce about 80 percent of the world's carbon emissions. They are working in tandem with broader U.N. efforts to work out a new international climate accord to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Meetings launched by U.S.
The major polluters meetings were launched last year by the United States, which rejected the Kyoto pact. The goal is to produce an agreement for the Group of Eight summit in Japan in July.

The participants agreed to two more meetings, in May and June, Jouyet said. No dates or venues were given.

Participants described the Paris talks as difficult, tense and lively. Attention was given to a South African participant's estimate that global warming would cost the world $200 billion a year to overcome.

"The amount is so huge it is not a question of debating whether it is correct. What we need to do is make funds available immediately," said Koji Tsuruoka, director general for global issues at Japan's Foreign Ministry.

American, Japanese and French participants welcomed a Mexican proposal for a global fund involving private and public money to deal with climate change.

The talks involved the United States, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia and South Africa.