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Race is on to Save Kyoto Climate Pact Without U.S.
Welcome to BBC World News, I'm Nick Gowing. Environment ministers from 180 countries will start trying to rescue the Kyoto treaty on global warming shortly. They join their officials who have been meeting all week in the German city of Bonn. The 1997 Kyoto agreement commits industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol was undermined in a major way in March when U.S. President George W. Bush said it would weaken America's economy.
It's Beethoven who dominates the town square here and it's unlikely that he'll have to give up his plane to a monument celebrating a conference, which halted global warming. Ministers from over 180 countries have already agreed to global cuts in emissions of greenhouse gasses five percent below the 1990 levels. But here they must decide how this will be achieved. Since George Bush pulled out of the deal, the argument is between Japan and Europe. The Japanese want flexible rules allowing them to plant more trees in place of steep cuts in pollution and weaker penalties for missing targets. Europe doesn't like it, but really wants a deal.
Jan Pronk (Conference Chairman): When I came to Bonn, I was a bit pessimistic, given many political statements, which were made during the last couple of weeks, that perhaps it would not be possible to reach [an]agreement. However, I have the impression that it is possible to reach a result.
If all the countries gathered here don't reach agreement in the next few days, it won't be the end of Kyoto, but it will be a failure. A failure to put national differences aside to resolve a problem, which the whole world, even the Americans agree, is a growing threat to our planet.
Tom Heap, BBC News in Bonn.
Greenhouse n. 温室，暖房
Halt v. 中止，停止
Implement v. 实施
Protocol n. 协议，议定书
Ratify v. 正式批准，认可
Undermine v. 削弱，损害
pull out: 退出