U.S. Wants Nations to Justify Global Climate Treaty Commitments

The U.S. said nations must be ready to explain their emission-reduction pledges as it unveiled proposals on how countries should conduct climate negotiations before a global treaty in 2015.

“Each party will need to be prepared to justify their commitment to the world,” the U.S. said in a submission published on the website of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn. Countries should submit draft pledges early in 2015 so consultations can extend through that year.

Envoys from more than 190 nations are seeking to write a treaty that would take effect in 2020, succeeding greenhouse gas limits set out in the Kyoto Protocol climate agreement. The UNFCCC, which oversees the talks, has asked nations to submit their carbon-reduction targets and treaty proposals.

The U.S., the second-biggest emitter after China, didn’t ratify the 1997 Kyoto agreement that set pollution-reduction targets for more than 30 developed countries. The 2015 deal is designed to include all nations, including China and Brazil, that don’t have Kyoto limits.

“We understand that there will be variation in type and stringency of commitments among parties” to the convention, the U.S. said in its submission.

President Barack Obama’s administration says it’s on track to cut heat-trapping gases by a pledged 17 percent from 2005 levels in 2020. That’s about 5 percent lower than in 1990, the international baseline, and compares with the 28-nation European Union’s pledge for a 20 percent cut over the 30 years.

“Assuming submission of final commitments in late 2015, the consultative process would need to begin relatively early in 2015, probably by around the end of the first quarter,” the U.S. said in its submission. “We do not see an approach based on formulas or involving categories of parties, particularly categories designed 30 years before this agreement becomes effective.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mathew Carr in London at m.carr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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