Shunning previously existing legal agreements on climate change, the U.S. has adamantly stuck to the Durban Platform, which was approved at the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa following 60 hours of negotiations.
A main goal of this year's Doha Climate Change Conference is to conclude the two negotiation tracks on the Kyoto Protocol and the Long-term Cooperative Action and then turn focus to a new agreement that will "applicable to all parties" and take effect from 2020, said Todd Stern, the US Special Envoy on Climate Change at a press conference in Doha December 3.
"All applications in the Kyoto Protocol are only applicable to some countries," said Stern. The Kyoto Protocol, which the U.S. refused to ratify, sets binding targets of emission reduction for developed countries.
"One of the most important elements at the Durban Platform is 'applicable to all' and it has led in certain direction to an agreement that can be inclusive and can draw participation of all countries in the world," he said.
Stern also disagreed on the current divisions between developed countries and developing countries when it comes to the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"While there certainly needs to be differentiation between countries, differentiation should be built on country's national circumstances and capabilities, but not built on ideology that says we're going to draw a line down the middle of the world," he said.
(Reporting from Doha)