The European Union is unhappy with two proposals being pushed by the U.S. at the international climate change talks underway in The Hague, Netherlands. One would allow countries to count the ability of their forests and farmlands to absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide toward their targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Another would allow countries to skip significant emissions cuts at home and meet their commitments by providing funding and technology to help other countries reduce emissions. The head of the U.S. delegation at the climate talks, David Sandalow, said the proposals, if accepted, would lead to the most cost-effective emissions cuts and help the Kyoto treaty on climate change pass the U.S. Senate. The EU argues that at least half of emissions cuts should occur within each country’s own boundaries. Environmental groups say the U.S. is seeking loopholes to avoid taking serious action against climate change. Meanwhile, the G77 group of developing countries, which includes island nations that are most threatened by the rising sea levels caused by global warming, is accusing the industrialized world of failing to do its part.

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