Copenhagen: US gets tough on China

Stern by name, stern by nature

Stern by name, stern by nature

For all the sweet talking that has been going on over the past few months, when it comes to tough negotiations, the gloves are off, as Politiken.dk reports:

America’s Chief Negotiator Todd Stern says China must act, and rejects demands for more funding.

He may have just arrived and hardly had time to have a bath, but America’s chief negotiator at the COP15 talks has turned on a shower of rebuttal on China’s calls for the United States to do more.

“The United States accepts its historical role in greenhouse gas emissions, but it is wrong to talk about fault and debt. We want the strongest possible agreement in Copenhagen, but it cannot be a free round for China and the big developing countries,” Stern says.

Stern was reacting to statements by China’s Development Minister Xie Zenhua earlier today when he tentatively suggested that China would be prepared to consider a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, but only if the United States puts much more on the table than it has already done.

I really hope that President Obama delivers when he comes to Copenhagen,” the Chinese minister said.

Emissions are emissions. It’s pure mathematics. Anyone can see that we cannot achieve an adequate result if China is not part of it,” Stern says, going on to reject demands from China and other developing nations for more funds than the USD 10 billion the United Nations says is necessary in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“And here, one cannot imagine that China is at the head of the queue to receive public dollars from the United States. There are many other countries with much greater needs,” Stern says.

Read it here.

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