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After what happened yesterday in Bali, US delegation head, Paula Dobriansky, might not go as far as asking for French fries to be renamed again, it is very unlikely though that she will consider French Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo as the archetype of the French charmeur.

A bilateral US-France meeting ended in a close-to-clash situation and led Borloo to rewrite the speech he was giving 2 hours later to the Conference of the Parties. And his message to the Bush administration was crystal clear: unless the US come with binding reduction targets to the Major Economies Meeting planned to be held in Paris in February 2008, they don’t have to come at all and the meeting will be cancelled. And he was even more precise: anything less than the 25-40% reduction range wouldn’t do it.

Today, the German Minister Gabriel gladly backed up his French colleagues. Gabriel announced that the EU major emitters would stop their participation in the MEM process unless substantive progress was made at Bali. Read: put quantitative reduction figures on the table or you won’t see us in Honolulu!

MEM, a weapon of mass sabotage turned to be a damp squib?