Delegates wrap up talks Friday at the U.N. climate change forum in Durban, South Africa. Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace before the conference began urged world leaders to try to leave the United States on the sidelines given its perceived objection to a binding treaty regarding efforts to curb global climate change.
European Commissioner for Climate Connie Hedegaard called on Chinese, Indian and U.S. delegates to join a European proposal.
"We need to get them on board today," she was quoted by The Guardian newspaper in London as saying. "The world is waiting for them."
More than 100 countries are backing a plan that would set a 2015 deadline for a new climate treaty that would enter into force in 2020.
British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said the level of greenhouse gas emissions are rising fast while the rest of the world focuses on economic uncertainty in the United States and eurozone.
"Against dark skies, we must summon the strength to commit to a brighter future," he said in a statement from Durban.
Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for Climate Change, caused a stir during a news briefing from South Africa when he said the 2-degree temperature limit used as a benchmark during climate negotiations was "a guidepost."
In later statements, however, he said "the United States is committed to finding a workable solution."
Though the climate conference formally ends Friday, the newspaper notes talks could extend into the weekend.