White House aides told the press on Wednesday to expect "robust" discussions from the United States
on the climate agenda at the UN's Copenhagen carbon conference, promising that America would not agree to any reparations responsibilities for the part it has played in contributing to atmospheric carbon emissions.
"We are seeking robust engagement with all of our partners around the world," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said, according to Reuters.
A large part of the Copenhagen talks will center on the means by which the world's richest nations will fund the global carbon emissions cap plan. The United States is planning to contribute to a rich-country fund that will be established to help developing nations meet their stated emissions restrictions and offset any impact those restrictions would have on their economies.
The rich-country fund could total $10 billion annually for the next few years, and critics have said that such a plan amounts to reparations from industrialized nations.
Meanwhile, further controversy erupted after text of a rich-nation plan emerged that would effectively sideline the Kyoto Protocol and the voices of developing nations. The matter caused an immediate outcry and led to a scramble by representatives from the industrialized world - including an appeal for calm by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore
"It's not unusual during international negotiations for there to be multiple texts that are floated or leaked. I think it ought to be kept in perspective. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the leaked text this early in the process," Gore told CNN.
The Copenhagen summit started on Monday, December 7 and will run through December 18 - so there still is ample time for all participants to work together.