BONN - The United States mounted a procedural challenge on Tuesday to a compromise reached in Bonn to salvage a UN treaty on global warming, but UN officials said the matter could be resolved quickly.
"They (the US) have asked some questions but by this afternoon the matter will be solved," a senior United Nations official said.
A US spokesman in Bonn declined to comment.
Bill Hare, climate director for the environmental lobby Greenpeace, said the Americans wanted "to raise their concerns because they think that the text has not been adopted according to rules of procedure".
After 25 hours of tough negotiations, some 180 signatory states approved a political compromise on Monday aimed at overcoming differences over how to implement the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, paving the way for countries to ratify the accord.
The US has refused to ratify the agreement, which commits it and 37 other industrialised nations to bringing their greenhouse gas emissions down to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by between 2008 and 2012.
Diplomats from Europe and developing countries here said questions raised by the Americans had come from Washington and not from the US delegation in Bonn which, they said, had been very happy with the final compromise.
The accord reached on Monday was a political agreement designed to set out detailed rules for calculating whether countries meet their emissions reductions targets.
Senior officials from the signatory states started work on Tuesday on drafting a legal text, expected to be complete by Friday.
The final draft must then be adopted by consensus, most likely at the next round of world climateo negotiations to be held in Marrakesh in October.
In Brussels, Belgian Energy Minister Olivier Deleuze, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, said he doubted whether the US had any real objections to the Bonn accord.
"The Americans were very clear in their attitude," he said. "They said 'we won't participate but we won't block it either, unless what is decided in Bonn is against our interests or could constitute a precedent for other international accords'."
The Kyoto Protocol will become a legally-binding international treaty when it is ratified by at least 55 countries accounting for at least 55 percent of the industrialised world's carbon dioxide emissions.
US President George W. Bush raised doubts over whether the treaty could survive when he said in March the US would not ratify it because it was not in the country's interest.
Scientists say greenhouse gases are warming up the Earth, inflicting potentially disastrous climate change such as freakish storms, longer droughts, floods and longer and more frequent El Nino effects. Poor tropical countries -- those least to blame for the problem -- will suffer most.
The United States is the world's biggest greenhouse gas polluter, accounting for a quarter of all emissions worldwide.
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