Policy: Environment & Energy

US considering greenhouse gas reduction target post-2020

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Climate Change,State Department,Energy and Environment,Bloomberg News

The U.S. government has started to analyze what sort of emissions reductions it can commit to after 2020 in a new agreement to fight global warming, a State Department official said.

“The process has started — it’s been going on for a while in the U.S. government to think about and develop a post-2020 commitment,” Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy on climate, told reporters at United Nations climate talks in Warsaw today. “The degree to which that’s based on a projection out of policy that’s in place now and the degree to which you leave some room for new policy that might come into play, that’s part of the art of doing his exercise.”

Envoys at two weeks of negotiations due to finish in the Polish capital on Nov. 22 are trying to craft the first parts of a new deal to fight climate change. They aim to adopt an agreement in 2015 that would bind all nations to limit emissions from 2020, replacing the existing Kyoto Protocol.

The U.S. is proposing a two-step process for countries to set their targets. That would involve putting targets forward, allowing all countries and researchers to examine them, and then proposing a final commitment, said Stern.

To do that in time for the 2015 deal, putting the commitments in the public domain “sometime in the first half of 2015 would make sense,” he said.

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