By John Parnell
RTCC in Durban
The US has re-iterated that it will not enter into a legally binding deal for emissions cuts without commitments from emerging economies to do the same.
Speaking at the US delegation press conference, deputy special envoy for climate change Jonathan Pershing said the country’s position on that point was the same during talks for the Kyoto Protocol.
“At the moment what I’m hearing from the major parties is that while some want it [a globally binding deal], others do not. And I have not observed a sense in my discussions that they are prepared to change their minds,” said Pershing.
“And by that I mean the major economies, the major emerging economies, which have indicated a strong resistance at this stage to undertaking a legal, binding agreement. Under this context the US also would not be prepared to undertake a legally binding obligation.”
“That was one the fundamental reasons why we could not be part of Kyoto,” added Pershing.
He also said that there was no apatite in the American camp for developing countries to undertake voluntary commitments in parallel with legal obligations from developed nations.
Despite the apparent deadlock in talks over a binding deal, Pershing offered some hope for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Although the US is requesting clarification on several points of the draft document Pershing said he had “high hopes” that the deal would be concluded in Durban.