U.S. Says New Climate Legislation Needed to Meet Emisions Pledge

The U.S. pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions about 17 percent depends in part on congressional legislation, Todd Stern, the head of the nation’s delegation at United Nations climate talks, said today.

The U.S. made the commitment to cut emissions in the range of 17 percent by 2020 earlier this year as part of a non-binding international accord aimed at combating climate change. The U.S. said at the time that the goal depends on congressional legislation.

“We will certainly need to do that with some legislative component,” Stern said at a press conference at the climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

The comment is the strongest signal yet that President Barack Obama’s administration believes it needs to pass rules in congress to make good on the nation’s carbon reduction promises. A bill aimed at curbing those emissions stalled in the Senate earlier this year.

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