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Progress Made in Paris Climate Talks


France said Tuesday that the world's top energy consumers have made important strides in finding a mechanism for poor countries to fight global warming following two days of talks in Paris.

France's environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo hailed progress in key areas during climate talks gathering representatives from 17 of the world's biggest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters.

Borloo particularly praised strides in reaching agreement for a so-called "green fund" of approximately $100 billion a year to help developing countries limit pollution and adapt to climate change. The French environment minister also said the talks - known as the Major Economies Forum - got closer to agreeing on climate change technology.

But he did not say whether progress had been made on one critical issue: the size of greenhouse gas emission cuts that scientists say are vital to reducing the impact of climate change.

The Paris meeting is one of three gathering the 17 nations ahead of a key United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen. Then next meeting takes place in June in Mexico.

The Obama administration has suggested a 14 percent to 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, and legislation before Congress would reduce such emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

In a radio interview earlier in the day, Borloo suggested the Obama administration was not going far enough in cutting heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions - although he praised it for going further than the Bush administration. But at a press conference later in the day, he appeared to slighty refine his position, saying that several countries must do more to fight climate change - while praising European commitments.

The European Union has vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by the year 2020.

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