In a policy paper released at the talks, Greenpeace argues that the U.S. approach to its own commitments and negotiating stance are in direct contrast with Kerry’s stated desire to forge a strong agreement. The Obama administration has argued that making carbon emission reduction targets and other climate mitigation commitments legally binding is not necessary, but Greenpeace is among those who strongly disagree. Without “binding” targets and enforcement mechanisms, goes the argument, the necessary reductions will simply not be made in time. Ash, who authored the report on behalf of the group, explains:

Familiar sticking points at the talk continue to center around the divide between rich and poor nations.  Whereas the U.S. argues that so-called “developing nations” must make the same kinds of sacrifices that larger and wealthier nations are prepared to make, critics of that view say that because those most-developed nations are also the largest historic greenhouse gas emitters they have a special responsibility to do more—a concept known as “common but differentiated responsibilities.”

Advocates of climate justice argue that big polluters, like the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the nations of Europe have should play a more significant role in financing the mitigation and transition efforts of those countries which did much less to create the climate crisis but are much more threatened by the increasing impacts of higher temperatures, rising seas, longer droughts, and more extreme weather.

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As the BBC reports:

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