US Envoy Rules Out Climate Deal with Beijing

The U.S. and China will not reach an agreement on carbon emission targets in time for President Obama’s visit to the country next month, Financial Times reports:

Todd Stern said the two governments would seek “a common understanding” on issues ahead of the crucial meeting in Copenhagen in December and would deepen co-operation on clean energy, but would not reach an accord on carbon emissions targets.

The low expectations for the climate change talks might please some European nations, which feared that China and the US would seek to impose a bilateral accord on other countries at Copenhagen. But the fact that no landmark deal will be agreed underlines the weak position of the US in climate change discussions until cap-and-trade legislation is passed by Congress.

“I do not think that we are expecting a broad agreement, per se,” Mr Stern said on Wednesday at a briefing in Shanghai. “It’s not an issue of trying to cut some separate deal, but there absolutely is an issue of trying to get us and China as aligned as possible so that we have a chance to get an agreement in Copenhagen.