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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Japan and Russia Told to Set Gas Emission Goals for 2020

OSLO -- Japan and Russia should publish 2020 goals for greenhouse gas emissions to help spur UN talks on a new climate treaty, the head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat said on Monday.

Other developed nations have already set targets and the lack of Japanese and Russian data was holding up the June 1-12 talks among 181 nations in Bonn, Germany, on a new pact due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.

"A number of critical ... ones are missing -- Japan and Russia," Yvo de Boer told a webcast news conference about progress in the talks on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the existing UN pact for curbing emissions.

"It's really important now to get those remaining numbers on the table."

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso aims to publish a 2020 goal for emissions in the coming days. Options outlined by experts range from a rise of 4 percent over 1990 levels to a cut of 25 percent. Russia has not said when it plans to issue numbers.

"There is a significant lack of progress in the Kyoto process, the key numbers are still missing, that is slowing down the debate," de Boer said. Russia is the world's number three greenhouse gas emitter, Japan number five.

Developing nations say that all developed nations should publish 2020 goals by June 17 -- six months before the end of the Copenhagen conference.

They also want the rich to outline an aggregate goal for cuts by 2020 to help avert what a UN panel of scientists says will be disruptions to crops, water supplies, rising sea levels and extinctions of animals and plant species.

Kyoto binds 37 industrialized nations to cut emissions by at least 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12 as a first legally binding step to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases mainly from burning fossil fuels.