Overcoming opposition from France and several eastern bloc countries, the European Union has agreed to bold new deal on global warming that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% lower than 1990 levels by 2020 and to see the EU producing a fifth of its energy via renewable sources by the same date.
The tough work in now ahead. A major stumbling block was overcome when member countries conceded to France's demand that nuclear should remain an energy option. Now countries will need to determine what reduction targets each nation should be responsible for. Eastern nations are looking for less aggressive targets than their more economically advanced western neighbours.
However, the ground work is now in place for Europe. They will take their reduction targets with them to the G8 summit in early June where other industrialized countries and emerging economies, such as China, will be pressed to agree a 30% global cut to succeed the Kyoto protocol. Europe will follow suit with a 30% commitment if other key nations agree.