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EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020

MOSCOW, February 29 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% of 1990's levels by 2020, the EU said in a program to fight climate change presented in Moscow on Friday.

Arthur Runge-Metzger, director of the Climate Policy Division in the European Commission's DG Environment, said the share of renewable energy would increase by 20% in the period.

He said that by 2005, 27 EU members had already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 6.5% compared to 1990's levels, adding that the current program envisions, in particular, reviewing the European system of carbon trading and developing renewable energy sources.

The general director of a Russian ecological fund said in January that Russia's power industry was unlikely to exceed 1990's level of greenhouse gas emissions until 2020.

"We are unlikely to exceed 1990's emission level during the presumed validity term of the post-Kyoto agreement," said Andrei Gorkov, who heads the Energy Carbon fund of Russian energy monopoly UES.

UES established the fund in 2000 to contribute to a reduction of the 'greenhouse effect' on the environment.

Restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions envisioned by the Kyoto Protocol came into force on January 1. The protocol obliges the 35 industrial states that have ratified the document to cut emissions by their individually defined quantities below 1990's levels by 2008-2012.

Industrialized and developing countries have been locked in a dispute over who should bear the main burden for carbon emission restrictions.

A UN conference on climate change was held in December in Bali, Indonesia. The issue of signing a post-Kyoto agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire on December 31, 2012, was the main topic on the agenda.

One of the main disagreements between the members was a dispute between the European Union, which was proposing that industrially developed states reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 by 25-40%, and the U.S., which disagreed with the figures and is pushing for voluntary agreement, rather than legally binding targets.

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