No sign of U.S. carbon trading consensus

VIENNA Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:51am EDT

Chief U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson takes questions during a news conference at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal November 29, 2005. It will be very difficult to reach agreement on a carbon market for the United States as there is no sign of consensus between regional schemes,Watson said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Chief U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson takes questions during a news conference at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal November 29, 2005. It will be very difficult to reach agreement on a carbon market for the United States as there is no sign of consensus between regional schemes,Watson said on Wednesday.

Credit: Reuters/Christinne Muschi

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VIENNA (Reuters) - It will be very difficult to reach agreement on a carbon market for the United States as there is no sign of consensus between regional schemes, the U.S. chief climate negotiator said on Wednesday.

"It's under active consideration in our Congress," Harlan Watson told a news conference during a 158-nation meeting of government experts in Vienna, when asked about the prospects for a national market linking up initiatives by some U.S. states.

"We are very far from consensus on a national program," he added. "It's certainly going to be very difficult to reach a consensus. I don't want to make a judgment about what Congress might do."

He also said that the United States had no plans to join in any global market for trading emissions of greenhouse gases as part of a fight against climate change.

"Right now, we do not see our participation in a global carbon market. It's unclear when and where and if there's going to a global carbon market," he said.

He noted the European Union emissions trading scheme and plans for trading in nations such as Australia and Canada.

"You are seeing difference among these schemes. So knitting these together in a global carbon market is going to take some time," he said.

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