10 December - US is determined to achieve strong agreement - Stern
The chief negotiator for the United States says that Washington is determined to get the 'strongest possible agreement' in Copenhagen.
Todd Stern said he was under no illusion that success would be easy but said that there was a strong political commitment to an agreement from the US Government.
In his opening press conference after flying into Copenhagen on 9 December, Mr Todd said reiterated the commitments made by President Barack Obama:
- A target to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020;
- Reductions of about 30% below 2005, and 42% by 2030; and
- Support for an increase in fast track funding to $10bn collectively by developed country contributions by 2012.
'The bottom line is the United States is committed to getting the strongest possible agreement we can over the next two weeks,' he told reporters. 'We are under no illusion that this is going to be easy. I think it is going to be challenging.'
'But I think an agreement is there to be had if we do this right and we need to keep at all times very much in sight of our – keep in our view the end goal that has brought us here.'
He said that action by the US and other developed countries would not be enough without 'significant action' by leading developing countries. 'It is going to be a core part of this negotiation.'
'There is no question that we have – the United States has – the largest historical emissions of greenhouse gases, and we have said this all up and down the administration from the beginning of this year.'
'But it is also true that virtually all the growth in emissions going forward – nearly all of it – is going to come from developing countries,' he said, pointing to estimates by the International Energy Agency that 97% will come from developing countries between now and 2030.
Mr Stern said that the 'vast majority' of developing countries did not need to take actions but he believed that the larger emerging countries should be given 'a pass'.
'It is essential that they step forward and set forth the actions that they are prepared to take, make clear that they stand behind those actions and make the implementation of those actions transparent in the way that we see in many arenas all over the world,' he said.
Press Briefing, United States 09 Copenhagen 09 December 2009
United States Copenhagen 09United States participation in the 15th session of the conference of the parties to the UN framework convention on climate change. Copenhagen, Denmark 7-18, 2009.
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