EU Environment Commissioner Dimas was the only speaker to go beyond diplomatic politeness at the opening session of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Brussels.

Straying from his official speech, Commissioner Dimas lashed out at the United States and Australia for failing to follow the EU's leadership example on fighting climate change.

"The US should end its 'negative attitude' towards international climate change negotiations," said the environment commissioner during the opening session of the IPCC's working group II meeting in Brussels. If the US does not move, "the less developed countries do not have any reason to move," Dimas added.

His attack on the Australian government was even less diplomatic. Addressing the Australian delegation for the conference directly, Dimas said: "I do not comprehend why Australia has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol," pointing to the fact that 80% of Australians support Kyoto.

"It is political pride that prevents your country from ratifying Kyoto."