Cautious Optimism as Deadlocked UN Climate Change Talks Wind Down

Europe's environment minister is cautiously optimistic that a deadlock between the European Union and the United States over greenhouse gas emission targets can be resolved. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins reports from the United Nations Climate Change Conference on Bali, where delegates are trying to start talks on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Stavros Dimas, the European Union environment minister, said Friday that some progress had been made in the search for a final statement for the climate conference.

"I'm optimistic that we can and will agree on an acceptable Bali road map here, but time is running out for other developed countries to live up to their responsibilities," said Dimas. "I hope they will do so in the coming hours so that Bali goes down in history as a successful step to a new global agreement that will tackle the vital challenge of climate change."

The roadmap will contain guidelines for negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The EU and most of the other 190 nations participating here want firm targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions written into the roadmap.

The U.S., supported by Japan and Canada, says setting firm targets will prejudge the outcome of the negotiations.