DURBAN, South Africa, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. envoy to an international climate conference in South Africa said America has changed its position on a timetable for a new set of international talks.
Todd D. Stern denied Washington is opposed to any further action to address global climate disruption until after 2020 -- when the 1997 United National Kyoto Protocol agreement will have run its course -- and endorsed a European Union proposal to start negotiating a new international climate change treaty, The New York Times reported.
Stern made his remarks to delegates from more than 190 nations at the annual U.N. climate conference being held in Durban, South Africa.
After his prepared remarks he repeated his dismissal of charges the United States was blocking any action on climate change until after 2020, detailing a number of domestic and international actions that the United States has taken on the issue.
"Taking all of those things together, it's nonsense to suggest that what we are doing is proposing a kind of hiatus in dealing with climate change until after 2020," Stern said.
The United States supports a European Union proposal to adopt a so-called road map for future discussions leading to a formal climate change treaty to take effect in 2020, he said -- although he qualified that by saying any resulting agreement may or may not be legally binding.