US envoy sees new plan energizing global climate talks

The United States’ new proposal to let countries draft their own emissions reduction plans rather than working toward a common target can unlock languishing UN climate negotiations, the US climate change envoy said on Tuesday.

The proposal that a global climate deal by 2015 should be based on national “contributions” gained traction at last week’s round of UN climate talks in Germany, although China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, said it wanted far more binding commitments by wealthy countries.

In the first public US statements on the plan, Todd Stern, the US State Department’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, told reporters on Tuesday that the US approach was designed to bring as many countries as possible to the table through a form of peer pressure and break the impass over a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

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