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Informal ministerial talks on global warming ended Friday with participants determined to maintain the momentum from the U.N. conference in Kyoto and make further efforts to implement the protocol at the upcoming conference in Buenos Aires.

No formal conclusions or detailed plans on how resolve issues unsolved at Kyoto last December were made during the two-day meeting.

But it was meaningful because it brought the ministers together so they could exchange ideas and paved the way for the Fourth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP4), Takayuki Kimura, ambassador for global environmental affairs from Japan, said after the two-day talks. “I think it is great progress that participants shared the view that they will keep the momentum from the Kyoto conference,” he said.

This was the first ministerial-level meeting since the Kyoto conference, and delegates from 23 countries took part. At COP3 in Kyoto, more than 150 signatory countries to the U.N. convention adopted a landmark protocol that sets legally binding targets for industrialized countries to cut the volume of their greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 5.2 percent between 2008 and 2012.

The protocol specifically obliges emissions of carbon dioxide and five other gases to be cut 6 percent by Japan, 7 percent by the United States and 8 percent by the European Union.

But the issue of enforcement was pushed aside. At the fourth conference in November in Buenos Aires, participants will further discuss how to achieve the targets agreed on in Kyoto and how to penalize countries that fail to meet their targets.

Among the mechanisms designed at the Kyoto conference to achieve the goal, participants in the Tokyo meeting expressed having great expectations of the “clean development mechanism” as a bridge that connects the industrialized countries and developing countries, Kenji Manabe, chief of Environment Agency and chairman of the informal meeting, said after the meeting.

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