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Countries Gear up for Showdown in Copenhagen Talks

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In the past two weeks, a number of countries took a bigger step forward in their efforts to cut their greenhouse gas emissions than in the previous two years.

Days before the Copenhagen climate talks to be held from December 7 to 18, the world's main emitters such as the United States, China and India finally produced targets for cutting their greenhouse gases by 2020, an encouraging sign for inking an agreement on fighting global warming.

The European Union, which boasts itself as a leader in fighting global warming, is the first player to lay its cards on the table. The bloc announced as early as 2007 that it planned to slash emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 30 percent if other developed countries followed suit.

However, the targets produced by the EU still fell short of the scientists' expectations for the developed nations in their efforts to avert the worst result that could be caused by global warming. Many people experts believe that a 25 to 40 percent reduction for developed countries compared with the 1990 baseline is necessary.

The United States is among the last to show its cards, as President Barack Obama promised only two weeks ago to cut greenhouse gases by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The target, which means just a four percent cut from 1990 levels, is much less than the EU's pledge over the same period.

The Obama administration shows more willingness in fighting global warming than his predecessor, but still refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which does not include developing countries in any numerical limitations.

In Japan, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who was sworn in August, pledged to cut his country's emissions by 25 percent below1990 levels by 2020, much higher than the 8 percent reduction offered by his predecessor Taro Aso. However Hatoyama, remains vague on how to materialize the promise.

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