Bonn of Contention
Environment ministers from around the world wrapped up a round of talks on the Kyoto climate change treaty today in Bonn, Germany, pledging to stick to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions agreed upon in 1997, but failing to decide how to achieve the reductions or how to enforce them. Delegates also failed to reach agreement on the controversial issue of emissions trading, which would allow industrialized countries to buy pollution permits from other nations. Many countries said they wanted to impose a 2002 deadline for ratification of the 1997 Kyoto accord, but the U.S., Russia, Canada, and Australia continued to reject any such deadline. Delegates agreed to hold their next big meeting in the Netherlands in November 2000, the same month as the U.S. presidential election, which could make climate change a hot issue for candidates.