COP19 (19/11/13) – Jake Schmidt an International Climate Policy Director for Natural Resources Defence Council talks about the role of the United States at these talks.
He talks about the change in dynamic under the Obama administration. He believes that having a president that is ready for action has had a positive impact of government agencies.
A lot of government agencies are already implementing measures that will come into force before he leaves office.
In terms of pre-2020 targets he does not believe that the US will formally commit to increasing an emissions target beyond 17% although they are likely to over achieve this. A 2015 target is likely to be more, however it is unclear how much better it will be.
On the US’ legacy as being a blocker, he says that it is understandable that there is deep scar tissue regarding their past actions within these negotiations.