Monday

3rd Oct 2022

'Good momentum' on climate deal, says top US official

  • Todd Stern, president Obama's chief climate negotiator. (Photo: americanprogress.org)

The US’ top climate official has met his EU counterparts amid renewed optimism about a global climate deal following a recent US-China emissions agreement.

Todd Stern, Washington’s special envoy for climate change, met both the climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete and Maros Sefcovic, in charge of energy on Monday (17 November).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

He told journalists Tuesday (18 November) that he wanted to meet the top EU environment officials “before we all go to Lima”.

Climate negotiators will meet in the Peruvian capital next month to discuss an international agreement, which is meant to be adopted in Paris at the end of 2015.

Stern praised the EU for its target – agreed in October - of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

“I have full on admiration for the EU on climate change”, he said.

“I absolutely recognise the EU as a world leader in climate change. The EU has been that for a long time, certainly since I have been in this job.” The EU was the first to make public its commitments for the post 2020 period.

Stern’s word come after US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a surprise move last week announced emission-reduction targets - well ahead of the 31 March, 2015 deadline.

Obama said the US will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 26 and 28 percent in 2025. However, the US uses a different baseline – the year 2005 - to the EU – the year 1990.

This has caused some to say that Washington’s pledge is not ambitious enough.

Nevertheless, Stern said the US target is “roughly comparable to the EU's newly announced target reductions”.

Stern also discussed the $3 billion US contribution to the UN Green Climate Fund, which has been set up to support developing nations cope with the effects of climate change and help them reduce emissions.

Obama's pledge however depends on whether the US Congress is willing to approve it. Republicans, who now control both houses in Congress, have criticised both the financial pledge and the climate deal with China.

“We can take a lot of action without Congress in terms of mitigation. When it comes to finance, we will need congressional support”, said Stern.

Overall he noted that there is “some good momentum” to reach an international climate deal in Paris in 2015.

US and China agree climate deal

The US and China on Wednesday announced an unexpected climate deal in a move that may ease European industry fears that the EU's climate goals are risking its competitive edge.

News in Brief

  1. Russia halts gas supplies to Italy
  2. Bulgaria risks hung parliament after inconclusive vote
  3. Latvian ruling party wins elections
  4. EU ministers adopt measures to tackle soaring energy bills
  5. EU takes Malta to court over golden passports
  6. EU to ban Russian products worth €7bn a year more
  7. Denmark: CIA did not warn of Nord Stream attack
  8. Drone sightings in the North Sea 'occurred over months'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. EU leaders have until Friday for refugee resettlement pledges
  2. Cities and regions stand with citizens and SMEs ahead of difficult winter
  3. Editor's weekly digest: A week of leaks
  4. Putin declares holy war on Western 'satanism'
  5. Two elections and 'Macron's club' in focus Next WEEK
  6. EU agrees windfall energy firm tax — but split on gas-price cap
  7. Ukrainian chess prodigy: 'We are not going to resign ... anywhere'
  8. Going Down Under — EU needs to finish trade deal with Australia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us