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EU pushes ahead on Kyoto Treaty

By Robin Oakley European Political Editor

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- EU summit leaders meeting in Gothenburg are planning to take further their battle against U.S. President George W.Bush on climate change.

The EU fifteen, who agreed to differ with the President over global warming issues, said before he left Gothenburg that they will go ahead and ratify the Kyoto Treaty even though he is refusing to do so.

But they have resolved to go further. Worried that others might take their example from Bush, they have decided to send a team to key countries around the world to persuade them to sign up to the Kyoto deal on greenhouse gas emissions.

EU Summit - Gothenburg, Sweden
  •  Pushing ahead on Kyoto
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  •  EU reassures applicants
  •  Expansion tops agenda
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  •  Protests hit Bush tour
  •  EU faces thorny issues
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  •  Damage-control summit
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  •  What kind of Europe?
  •  Key leaders' views
  •  History of EU growth
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  •  Changing face of Europe
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Bush has rejected the treaty on the grounds that it would harm the US economy and because it exempts developing countries.

But he has said that he takes the problem of global warming seriously and will boost research h spending on its causes. The EU leaders say that the time for research has passed and that action is needed.

Goran Persson, the Swedish Prime Minister and current holder of the revolving EU presidency, said: “We are united in the EU on climate change.

"We are united in sending a high level mission to other parts of the world to convince others to get on with the Kyoto ratification process.”

Two further moves have demonstrated that while the EU leaders have been pleased to enter a dialogue with the US president it has produced no real meetings of minds.

The Gothenburg summit has also formally condemned U.S. policies on the death penalty, regretting the first Federal execution for 38 years.

It also specifically signed up to the international criminal court for trying war crimes and crimes against humanity, which the U.S. is refusing to support.

The summit sessions on Friday were dominated by unsuccessful Swedish efforts to get the 15 EU nations to agree a timetable for the conclusion of negotiations with the 12 applicant countries currently engaged in the process.

On Saturday the 15 play host to the applicant countries leaders and will assure them that there will be no delay in their admission despite squabbles within the EU on regional aid and the Irish rejection in a national referendum of the Nice Treaty, required to pave the way for enlargement in a national referendum.

Yesterday’s summit was overshadowed like many recent meetings of world leaders by violent protests which resulted in the arrest of more than 100 demonstrators and injuries to nearly thirty people, including twelve police. Persson called it a “tragic day” with serious consequences for democracy.

Ironically the rioting appeared to be worse after the departure of the US president whose policies many of the protesters oppose more vigorously than they do those of the EU leaders, whose battle with Bush over the environ ment they would have appreciated.

Persson and the Swedish government had sought to disarm protesters by having open discussions with non governmental organisations to discuss their concerns. But it seemed that rock-throwing anarchist groups were determined to cause trouble anyway in what is becoming a predictable pattern for such events.Further demonstrations have been planned for today.

• Kyoto Climate Summit
• U.S Global Warming Site

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