French minister: 2015 climate deal must avoid US Congress
BONN, Germany (AP) – The global climate agreement being negotiated this year must be worded in such a way that it doesn’t require approval by the U.S. Congress, the French foreign minister said Monday.
Laurent Fabius told African delegates at U.N. climate talks in Bonn that “we know the politics in the U.S. Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse.”
If negotiators follow his plan, that would exclude an international treaty that has legally-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions - something some countries still insist on but which would have no chance of being ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress.
“We must find a formula which is valuable for everybody and valuable for the U.S. without going to the Congress,” said Fabius, who will host the U.N. climate summit in Paris in December where the new agreement is supposed to be adopted.
Those pushing for a legally binding deal in Paris include the 28-nation European Union and small island nations who fear being wiped out by rising seas.
Amjad Abdulla, a Maldives delegate who is the chief negotiator for the small-island group, said while the group still wants a binding agreement “I think it’s important that we get everyone on board.”
“We are still looking into options,” he said.
One possible outcome in Paris is a deal in which some elements are binding but not the emissions targets set by individual countries.
The Obama administration has pledged to reduce U.S. emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.