Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- A legally binding accord to combat climate change “is not on the cards” at a December summit, because developing countries such as China, Brazil and India won’t commit to it, according to U.S. negotiator Todd Stern.
With developing countries unlikely to commit to reducing greenhouse gases by set targets, the U.S. will push for non- binding agreements to slow global warming, which will eventually result in a comprehensive and binding deal, Stern, President Barack Obama’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, told reporters in Johannesburg today.
The U.S. would be “perfectly comfortable with a legal agreement provided it’s legally binding with respect to all the major players and that includes China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia etc,” Stern said. “Our pretty strong impression is that it’s not on the cards yet. China, India and others are not prepared to take on that legally binding agreement yet.”
Signatories to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, who will discuss whether to extend emission cuts beyond the current 2012 expiry at the summit in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban, are still “deadlocked” on the matter, Stern said. The Kyoto plan called for a 5.2 percent reduction from 1990 levels among industrial nations. Japan, Russia and Canada all said they don’t want to extend Kyoto unless the two biggest emitters, China and the U.S., are brought into the pact.