Members of Japan’s delegation heading to New York on Thursday for closed-door climate change talks said Tuesday that they will continue to urge the United States back to the Kyoto Protocol negotiating table.

The delegation includes Environment Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and will be first ministerial-level gathering since climate change talks broke down in November in The Hague. It is an important opportunity for ministers to discuss the U.S. decision to abandon the protocol on global warming and to exchange opinions over a compromise plan released last week.

“The U.S. emits around 25 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions . . . so to maintain the environmental integrity of the agreement, U.S. participation is very important,” Kawaguchi said.

Kawaguchi and representatives from a total of 40 countries will meet in New York for informal talks set to coincide with a meeting of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development.

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