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.”

 

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  • David Corn

    David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief and an on-air analyst for MSNBC. He is the co-author (with Michael Isikoff) of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Showdown, Hubris (with Isikoff), and The Lies of George W. Bush, as well as the e-book, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video that Rocked the 2012 Election. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.