European Union environmental ministers agreed in principle Tuesday to cut carbon emissions from cars and factories by as much as 30 percent by 2020.
German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters that the 30-percent reduction is conditional on other industrialized nations matching that number.
If not, the EU will strive for a 20-percent cut.
EU ministers plan to meet in Brussels next month to draw up a new environmental strategy when the Kyoto agreement expires in 2012.
Many scientists agree that emissions from factories and gasoline-burning vehicles are responsible for global warming.
Also Tuesday, EU environmental ministers upheld Hungary's right to ban a genetically-modified corn seed. The European Commission, the top EU executive body, wanted the ban lifted, arguing that such foods are safe.
Some experts fear that genetically altered foods could damage human health and the environment.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.