Obama to face pressure on global change

United States and European Union Prague  - US President Barak Obama is likely to face pressure from Washington's European Union (EU) allies at an US-EU summit in Prague to draw up concrete measures to combat global warming.

After delivering a speech in central Prague calling for world action to face up to the threat posed by nuclear proliferation, Obama was meeting with the heads of the
27-member EU.

Speaking ahead of the US-EU summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU expected Obama to present concrete steps aimed at dealing with climate change.

The US leader insisted in his speech in Prague that Washington would take the lead in tackling global warming and promoting renewable energy sources.

In her weekly video podcast, Merkel said the issue now was what contribution the US can make to a new post Kyoto Treaty on reducing the CO2 emissions causing global warming.

The US-EU summit in Prague's vast communist-era congress centre comes as governments around the world start to gear up for a major international conference in December in Copenhagen, which is supposed to set new climate targets for the period after 2013.

The EU has already reached its target of cutting C02 emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

The Brussels-based bloc has also indicated that it is now prepared to raise its target to 30 per cent if other big industrialized states are prepared to join it.

Coming against the backdrop of the global recession, Obama and the EU leaders are also expected to discuss the economic relations between the two giant trading powers and the threat posed by nations' reverting to protectionism to shield their economies from the economic downturn.

The US-EU summit comes after the leaders of the world's biggest economic powers (including Obama) and the EU's key member states gathered in London last week for a meeting aimed at fighting off the dramatic slowdown in the global economy. dpa