U.S. Envoy Warns of ‘Stillborn’ Climate Agreement


Todd Stern, the United States’ chief climate negotiator, said that China, India, Brazil and other rapidly developing countries have been making “ambiguous” statements about their intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that further foot-dragging could leave the Copenhagen climate accords “stillborn.”

Speaking at a think tank in Washington, Stern said, “The statements we have seen from China and the other [rapidly developing]countries do evince a desire to limit the impact of the accord.”

China, India, Brazil, and South Africa have refused to make binding commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and Stern warned that without such pledges “there is simply no other way to head off the coming [climate]crisis.”

The Copenhagen meeting ended without a treaty to reduce CO2 emissions, and Stern said that unless the swiftly developing countries maker firmer commitments, he is unsure if a binding treaty can be signed at a meeting scheduled this December in Mexico City. He called the Copenhagen meeting last December a “snarling, aggravated, chaotic event.”

Meanwhile, one of China’s chief climatologists said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — recently criticized for inaccurate projections in its 2007 report — should be reformed to prevent political interference, improve research, and reduce western bias.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: Oxfam International

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

1 Comment

  1. At the same time as China and India are taking large steps to actually reduce emissions, the U.S.–one of the biggest talkers about reducing–is in reality doing very little. So who is at greater fault?