The United States recently submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change its bold vision for an international climate deal in Paris, France in December 2015. The 11-page submission makes the U.S. the first country to share its ideas for the upcoming climate conference, and the Obama Administration argued that poor countries would need to join wealthy nations in doing more to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. The White House push to hold developing countries like China, India and Brazil accountable for greenhouse gas emissions comes after the president’s major climate speech last year, where he committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020.

Image © Charles Calabrese

“The United States supports a Paris agreement that reflects the seriousness and magnitude of what science demands. As such, it should be designed to promote ambitious efforts by a broad range of Parties,” the submission states, calling for an agreement that is “built to last.” Any agreement on reducing global warming-causing pollution would take effect in 2020.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the U.S. is taking a leadership role already by demanding more from developing countries with financial help from developed nations. “The U.S. is staking out fairly firm stuff that they want to see. All the major countries, including China, India and Brazil, are expected to be fairly transparent and detailed. That is the clear reading from this.”

President Obama and French President Francois Hollande (who recently made the first official state visit to Washington by a French leader in nearly 20 years) called for a global treaty to combat climate change in a joint op-ed published in The Washington Post and Le Monde newspapers.

“As we work toward next year’s climate conference in Paris, we continue to urge all nations to join us in pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through concrete actions,” the two leaders wrote.

+ U.S. Submission on Elements of the 2015 Agreement

Via Reuters

Lead image by Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons