China-US Climate Smackdown—Round Two
Earlier today I posted about a war of words between US climate envoy Todd Stern and Chinese vice foreign minister, He Yafei, over climate change funding. Stern has previously said that the US will provide money to help developing countries cope with climate change, but doesn't see public money going to China. At a press briefing on Friday, He Yafei retorted that these remarks suggested Stern "lacks common sense" or is "extremely irresponsible." Ninety minutes later Stern took the same chair in the briefing room and was quickly asked about He's comments. Stern played it cool: "I think that the coments were a bit unfortunate. I know He Yafei and have enormous respect for him." Stern added, "I don't have any particular comment." But he held his ground: "I don't have any different view than the one I expressed" on international funding and the Kyoto Protocol. As for bridging the significant differences at the summit over how to assign emissions-reducing commitments to the developed nations (the historic emitters) and the major developing countries (the big emitters of the near-future), Stern said, "I think we can get there with China."