The EU Environment Commissioner has said that the Kyoto protocol to cut greenhouse gases is still worth fighting for, despite the United States' refusal to implement it.

Speaking at a meeting of G8 environment ministers in Canada, Margot Wallstrom said it was important that an international framework on reducing dangerous emissions was put in place.

The Kyoto Protocol mandates an average 5.2% reduction in the 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by Western and East European nations before 2012. Ms Wallstrom said there was a lot of tension between the EU and the United States over the issue, but that efforts would continue to identify areas where co-operation was possible.

Canada, which is chairing this year's G8 annual meeting, faces internal opposition to ratifying the protocol. Most of the provinces fear their industries will lose crucial market share to US competitors that are not required to implement costly anti-pollution measures.

Ottawa has pledged to ratify the treaty this year. The Group of Eight nations is comprised of United States, Japan, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Russia.