Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Loophole Inserted in Climate Accord Augurs U.S.-China Clash

The deal struck by United Nations envoys this week to fight climate change gives the biggest polluters three options for a wider agreement by 2015, setting the stage for renewed discord between rich and poor countries.

Negotiators from more than 190 nations agreed Dec. 11 to draft a “protocol, legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force” to take effect by 2020. While the European Union says that calls for a treaty to limit fossil-fuel emissions in all countries, two of the world’s three biggest air polluters, China and India, signaled they expect to be assigned looser limits in the final accord. UN carbon offsets, which rose today, are headed for a record 25 percent weekly decline.