Don’t write off the United Nations climate process, State Dept. official says

“It is impossible to imagine a global agreement in a place that doesn’t essentially have global buy-in. There aren’t other institutions besides the UN that have that,” he said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

But Pershing also praised the role of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 16 large economies – including the U.S., China, and India – as well as the European Union.

He said the MEF’s work helped form the basis for key parts of what became the limited “Copenhagen Accord,” and also noted the MEF’s work to speed deployment of low-carbon energy technologies.

“We will have a very, very difficult negotiation moving forward and it will be a combination of small and large processes. Will the MEF be one of them? We are working on that,” Pershing said.

Pershing said that despite the messy conference, the accord – which fell short of expectations – is nonetheless a good product that makes progress on the major issues including climate finance and verification of nations’ emissions pledges.

An audio file of his talk can be found here.