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Published: Monday 12 August, 2013

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BONN, Germany Countries that are signed up to the Kyoto Protocol reaffirmed plans on Friday to set new, tougher caps on greenhouse gas emissions after 2012, despite spreading skepticism about the environmental pact.

The conference of some 160 nations in Bonn set no timetable for agreeing on the goals, which would only apply to rich nations, but the talks would take at least two years.

The worlds biggest polluter, the USA, was absent, having pulled out of Kyoto in 2001. Climate Change Secretariat, wrapping up the May 1526 talks.

It was the first meeting of a group set up by Kyoto countries last December to work out a roadmap for emissions cuts beyond 2012. Kyoto obliges 35 rich nations to cut emissions by at least 5.2% below 1990 levels by 200812.

Burning fossil fuels powers the worlds energy needs but also pumps out gases such as carbon dioxide that are largely blamed for global warming of nearly 1 1.8 in the past century.

Scientists say catastrophic climate change could follow without emission cuts, but many countries fear the economic impacts of these, and that any burden may not be fairly shared.

Canada recently said its present targets were unachievable, while the commitment of Japan, another Kyoto ratifier, could not be taken for granted, said Michael Zammit Cutajar, head of the group driving post2012 talks.

Its very important Canada stays on board. If Canada goes that starts to weaken the edifice, he said.

The most important thing at the moment is to hold Japan in. Theyre extremely concerned about not going too far ahead in this game.

The USA and Australia are the main industrial nations outside Kyoto. President George W.

Uncertainty about the future carbon price, given Kyotos limited duration, has had industry fretting over future energy costs and power generators unsure what type of plants to build.

Fridays new impetus should reassure industry, Cutajar said.

The agreement is the be michael kors factory outlet locations ginning of a signal to carbon markets that they have a life ahead of them michael kors factory outlet locations beyond 2012.

After two weeks of negotiations, the brakes are off and the process is moving forward, said Jennifer Morgan, climate change director for the environmental group WWF.

We havent saved the planet here in Bonn, said Bill Hare of Greenpeace. But we have taken a step forward. Both Greenpeace and the michael kors factory outlet locations WWF said far deeper cuts were needed.

The text of Fridays agreement stated that post2012 goals must have an economic and scientific underpinning.

Cutajar said that would come from Britains Stern Review on the economics of climate change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes IPCC 2007 review of the science of global warming. michael kors factory outlet locations