November 6, 1999
Ministers Vow to Control Greenhouse Gases
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ONN -- Environmental ministers pledged on Thursday to lower emissions of greenhouse
gases to combat global warming. But
they did not take concrete steps.
Despite American reservations
and objections by Saudi Arabia and
other oil exporters, most countries
said at a United Nations conference
on the climate that they wanted a
1997 agreement on reducing emissions to take effect by 2002, the German environment minister, Jürgen
Most scientists agree that gases,
like those from burning coal and
vehicle exhausts, cause the atmosphere to warm up. They said that last
year was the hottest on record, although it remains to be seen if warm
weather in recent years is part of a
trend or a natural variation.
Much of the meeting here covered
technical details and planned a meeting next year in the Netherlands that
is to set emission targets for industrial countries. The delegates failed
to agree on monitoring and "emissions trading," which would let industrialized nations "buy" credits
from other countries to achieve reduction targets.
Congress has argued
that the Kyoto protocol did not obligate developing nations.