World leaders are in Cancun, Mexico, for the meeting of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change where they are examining ways to find a common environmental agreement. The international community is searching for the political solution needed to advance the agenda beyond vague commitments reached at last year's summit in Denmark.
Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, told delegates at Cancun that Washington spent more than $90 billion to tackle domestic environmental issues meant to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases.
Stern said that while agreements reached in Denmark last year fell short of expectations, the accord was a "significant step" toward an international consensus on climate change.
Washington, he said, felt that now was the time to build on existing efforts at combating deforestation and helping vulnerable and developing countries move along the path toward a low-carbon economy.
"We can and must do this through a balanced package of decisions that builds on the understandings our leaders reached in Copenhagen and makes meaningful, comparable progress on the key elements of our negotiations," he said in his statement.