Stern seeks “balanced package of decisions” at Cancun
By Brian Beary in Washington | Tuesday 23 November 2010
The United States’ top negotiator on climate change, Todd Stern, has said the goal at the United Nations conference in Cancun should be to take “a balanced package of decisions” but that a large treaty was not likely. Speaking to the foreign press, on 22 November, he said countries needed to gradually advance on all fronts - mitigation commitments, funding, forestry, transparency and technology - at once, rather than focus on one or two areas. The Cancun ministerial, from 29 November to 10 December, will aim to set a course for concluding a new global climate treaty, possibly in Cape Town, South Africa, in December 2011.
Europolitics if commitments made at the UN summit in Copenhagen, in December 2009, were being made good, Stern said “we don’t know yet” and that the Cancun conference should help reveal this. He said it was important for countries to implement the emission reduction actions they announced after Copenhagen and that progress be made in spelling out a commitment made by the leaders in Copenhagen to “international consultations and analysis”. On the UN negotiation process, he said “I don’t think the dog is dead yet” but that continued stalemate year after year would cause parties to move to other forums.
Probed on the US’ ability to deliver given Congress’ refusal to pass comprehensive climate legislation, he said the administration now intended to use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as much as possible. He noted how the EPA had tightened up fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, which “represent about 35% or so of emissions”. He insisted that President Barack Obama would make good on his commitment to cut overall US emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.