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46 Countries Back France's Proposal for World Environmental Body

Forty-six countries have joined France in calling for a new world environmental agency.

President Jacques Chirac Saturday called for the transformation of the U.N. Environment Program into a more powerful international membership organization to combat global warming. He said the planet is at risk and the future of humanity demands it.

Mr. Chirac spoke in Paris after the world's top scientists issued a report saying that global-warming was largely man-made. The U.N. report also said that the trend can be expected to continue.

The European Union and many other countries are backing the so-called "Paris Call for Action." But some of the world's top polluters, including the United States, China and Russia, have not signed on.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, whose documentary on the perils of global warming (An Inconvenient Trruth) has won two Oscar nominations, welcomed Mr. Chirac's efforts.

The U.N. report, "Climate Change 2007: the Physical Science Basis," is aimed at pressing governments and companies around the world to adopt policies that will curb the emission of greenhouse gases released into the air. It was reviewed by 25-hundred scientists from 113 countries.

Some greenhouse gases are naturally occurring, while others are made-made pollutants, such as emissions from burning fossil fuels. The gases trap energy from the sun that would otherwise reflect back into space.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.