Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S Department of State Dr. Jonathan Pershing and Director for Energy and Climate Change for the National Security Council John Morton Previewing the COP 22 Climate Conference

Special Briefing
Jonathan Pershing
Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change 
John Morton, Director for Energy and Climate Change for the National Security
Via Teleconference
November 3, 2016

MODERATOR: Yes, good morning everyone. This is Nicole Deaner with the State Department Press Office. Thanks for joining us today to discuss COP22, which as you know, starts next week in Marrakesh and will be the first such meeting since the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. We’re pleased to have on the call today Dr. Jonathan Pershing, the special envoy for climate change at the State Department, as well as John Morton, director for energy and climate change for the National Security Council. They will both give brief remarks, and then we will go to your questions.

As a reminder, today’s call is considered on the record.

With that, I’ll turn it over to Director Morton.

MR MORTON: Hi, good morning, folks. This is John Morton speaking. It’s a pleasure to be with you this morning. I’m just going to begin with some very top-level kind of framing remarks and then turn it over to Jonathan to discuss more of the specifics of the – of our preparation for the COP.

So I think it’s fair to say that we are all really looking forward to the COP, which, as you know, begins next week. We’re coming into this year’s COP with a tremendous amount of positive momentum. Reaching the Paris Agreement in December of last year was clearly a watershed moment for the international community and one that was appropriately reported in that way. But frankly, by all measures, this year, 2016, has been a truly historic year for international climate action. We have seen in the last two months alone the rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement, much, much faster, years faster, than most people expected. And with that entry into force, that puts us on a much accelerated path toward implementation of the goals that we laid out in Paris a year ago.

We have secured an ambitious amendment, as you know, to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and use of HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, a group of the extremely potent greenhouse gases, which by some accounts, that agreement will – puts us on a path to avoiding up to a full half a degree centigrade of warming. And subsequently to that, we achieved adoption of a global market-based measure to set international aviation on a path to sustainable and carbon-neutral growth. And international aviation, as you may know, is one of the fastest growing segments of greenhouse gas emissions.

So in the last couple months alone, due to the really kind of concerted work of this Administration and the president himself and many others throughout the international community, we’ve set the tone for coming into Paris in a – coming into Marrakesh, excuse me, in a very, very positive light.

So as we look forward to the two weeks ahead, we see COP22 is really a COP of implementation and action. So the Paris Agreement was a turning point in terms of setting in place a framework, an international framework for action. And in the COP that is approaching, we intend to really intensify our work in turning toward implementation.

So we are – in many ways we’re at an unprecedented stage in climate negotiations because we finally have a framework for implementation that applies to all countries. Getting to this point required really eight years of consistent attention from the President, from – beginning back in Copenhagen and driving through the entry into force of the Paris Agreement at unprecedented speed. And we think it’s very fitting for the Administration’s final COP to be one which is focusing – turning its attention from negotiations to implementation. And I’m sure Jonathan will have more to say about what exactly that looks like.

So I just wanted to frame the kind of how we got here over the last year, say that we’re really looking forward to the two weeks ahead. And as we shift from negotiations to implementation, that will be the primary focus of our participation at COP this year.

So with that, over to Jonathan.

MR PERSHING: Thanks very much. This is Jonathan Pershing. Thanks all for joining us. I’ll make just a few brief comments; we’ll turn to questions.

The first point is just to emphasize John’s comment: This is now increasingly getting into an implementation agenda. The Moroccans themselves are calling this a COP of action. An action agenda is therefore one of the big things that they’ve got. That’s going to feature work by businesses, by cities, by states and civil society, either themselves or in partnership with others on a variety of topics. So they’ve got an energy discussion, an agriculture discussion, an oceans discussion, a cities discussion, a whole variety of these, that really begin to elevate the implementation side.

The second is there’s going to be a series of discussions around the details and the negotiation of specific advancing – as John noted, it’s a framework a little bit in Paris in some components. This is the start now of the detailed implementation agenda. Guidelines for transparency, the rules for what countries have to report on, discussions further about how to implement the various adaptation provisions – all of this will take place in the round of negotiations coming forward.

The third thing that I note is that the political dynamics here are quite significant. We take advantage, and John’s mentioned the things that have happened – entry into force has occurred. That’s a big political signal of intent and focus. The Montreal Protocol on HFCs, the amendment there has occurred. That’s a huge win. Civil aviation has occurred. But we’ve also had resources being put forward on the private sector side. This is a year of the first time we’ve seen more investment in renewables than investment in fossil fuels. Those kinds of things are a clear mark of progress, and this COP will kind of reflect those and advance those.

I don’t expect the consequence of this negotiation will resolve all of these technical issues. We’re on a very rapid timetable. We thought we had until 2020 to finish one of these negotiations. We’re going to try to work now to accelerate it and make 2018 the year – so a two-year advancing of the schedule. It will take a lot of that time. There’s going to be a great deal of intense work that has to happen to deliver this, and that detailed part of Morocco is a part of the deal coming forward here.

So that’s what we currently expect. Let me turn to questions and see what people like to hear more about.

OPERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, if you’d like to ask a question today, please press * then 1 on your touchtone phone. You’ll hear a tone indicating you’ve been placed in queue, and you can remove yourself from queue at any time by pressing the pound key. If you are using a speakerphone today, please pick up the handset before pressing the numbers. Once again, if you have a question for today’s conference, please press * then 1 at this time. One moment for our first question.

And our first question comes from the line of Amy Harder from The Wall Street Journal. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. Good morning, and thanks for holding this call. What is going to be your message to fellow negotiators in Marrakesh who are worried about the legality of the Clean Power Plan and what kind of both substantive and symbolic impact it could have if it’s overturned or partially struck down by the appeals court? I know the Administration and the President himself have been very – expressing a lot of confidence that you will prevail, but the fact remains that you may not, and I’m sure in conversations I’ve had with people around the world that they are genuinely concerned about that. So how are you giving assurances on that front? Thank you.

MR MORTON: Sure. This is John Morton. I’ll give a quick answer and see if Jonathan wants to add anything. First of all, as you alluded to, we do believe that the Clean Power Plan is on very strong legal standing. We do believe the courts will come to that determination and that the Clean Power Plan will continue at pace. At the same time, this is obviously a question we’ve been getting for a good deal of time now, and at the same time many things have happened since the stay. The production tax credits were put into place subsequent to that, and those provide an incredible boost to U.S. renewable energy development. And so what we’re seeing is the market is moving ahead very, very rapidly based on both policy incentives but also, to Jonathan’s point, this is the first year in history where investments in renewable energy have outpaced those in fossil fuels.

So the market is moving ahead much, much faster than most people understand and most people appreciate, and we believe that will continue irrespective of whether or not the Clean Power Plan is upheld. But again, we start from the assumption that the courts will find, as we believe, very strong legal standing for the Clean Power Plan to remain.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Michael Igoe from Devex. Please go ahead. Mr. Igoe, your line is now currently open. Please go ahead with your question.

QUESTION: Can you hear me? Hello?

OPERATOR: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Okay, sorry about that. Thanks for taking my question. I have two quick ones if I could. Obviously, with the presidential election on the second day of COP22, that’s going to be closely watched. Given the two candidates’ very divergent positions on the Paris Agreements and climate action in general, do you, as the Obama Administration, sort of approach these negotiations or discussions with two different strategies, or do you just move forward sort of regardless of the outcome? And then second, loss and damage has been a key issue in recent years. Countries that expect to experience some sort of loss or damage from climate change are probably going to look for a financing mechanism attached to that. Does the Obama Administration have a position on what that financing mechanism might look like or if there should be one at all? Thank you.

MR MORTON: Jonathan, why don’t I take a crack at the first and then hand it to you for any elaboration and perhaps a – take the second question. So this is John Morton again. On the question of the election, obviously, I think there is a great deal of interest not just domestically, but internationally in terms of what the election outcome will be. And as you suggested, the candidates have very different views on climate.

I think what we have seen in recent months and in fact in recent years is a recognized now inevitability of the transition to a low-carbon economy. And so the international community – the international business community, the international policy community – is moving forward and will continue to move forward, and there’s no questioning anymore about the commitment at both the government and policy levels to the – both the letter and the intent and the spirit of the Paris Agreement. So we will see countries continuing to move forward at a fast clip irrespective of what happens next Tuesday. I think the question may be what role and how quickly the U.S. moves. But the international community is moving forward, and that’s very clear based upon the three international agreements that we – that I mentioned in my introductory remarks.

I think the question of commitment to action is no longer one which is being debated. It’s a question of how quickly it will move forward and, frankly, who will lead and who will benefit most from this transition to a lower-carbon economy.

MR PERSHING: Thanks. Let me just turn to the second question, which is on loss and damage. The issue, for those of you who are not following this in detail, is a question of damages that countries are unable to cope with. So if you imagine some rise in sea level and you can move or you can elevate your buildings, that’s an adaptive strategy. But if at the other end your island gets washed away and you can’t live there anymore, that’s a loss and damage problem. And that distinction is real, and we’re beginning to see countries increasingly concerned about this agenda.

But while it’s real, it’s some ways off in the future, and the focus on the financing side here has been on an adaptation agenda, not the financing on loss and damage. So while I expect it to be a conversation coming forward over the years, I don’t really anticipate that this will be the focus of the conversation in Morocco.

On the finance side, we certainly do see enormous efforts being made by countries around the world to increase their resources for adaptation, and many of the things that you’re looking to do to prevent risks, to manage this tropical storms intensity, to manage increasing sea level rise, to manage drought – those are things that are actually being funded with resilience programs through the multilateral development banks, through bilateral lending from countries around the world. And I would note that this is going to be increasingly something that countries themselves start to pay attention to.

And this is not just a developing country issue. This is something we do in United States; it’s something we see in Europe, as they manage their floods; it’s something we see in Japan, as they manage constraints around increasing typhoons. All of this is coming, and it’s a global issue, and we’re seeing increasing attention to the problem. The negotiations will emphasize this probably significantly in Morocco.

OPERATOR: Thank you, sir. Ladies and gentlemen, once again, if you do have a question or comment for today’s conference, please press * then 1 at this time.

Our next question comes from the line of Joe Ryan from Bloomberg. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. Thanks for having the call. China’s lead climate negotiator on Tuesday criticized Donald Trump’s vow to back out of the Paris Agreement, saying it was out of step with global consensus. Would you comment on concerns on the part of China and others around the world about whether the U.S. will continue to be a leader on this issue if Mr. Trump is elected?

MR MORTON: Sure. We have – just – this is John Morton here. We have a – we obviously have a very strong relationship with China on climate. I think as many folks on the call will know, the strength of the China relationship on climate is in many – in many ways enabled much of the successes that we’ve seen in both (inaudible) contributing factor in helping reach the (inaudible) that we mentioned – that I mentioned earlier this year. So we certainly have a strong climate partnership with China that we expect and hope will continue into the future.

As to the comments that were made, we certainly don’t have any comment on them.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Jean Chemnick from N-News. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Following up on that same question, a number of international delegates – actually – Brazil’s environment minister just said something along the same lines earlier today. In fact, he was more blunt and said he hoped that Trump didn’t win. These statements are happening and they’re very unusual in this context. Does it show real nervousness on the part of international delegations that Trump could withdraw the U.S. from Paris in some way or at least not fulfill its obligations to Paris?

MR MORTON: Jonathan, did you want to take that?

MR PERSHING: So the answer in short is that there are provisions – there’s an Article 28 in the agreement that provides for procedures for countries that would seek to withdraw. But at the moment, I don’t think that’s very likely. My sense that the – frankly, is that there are going to be huge domestic advantages to staying in this agreement and to doing the work that we’ve agreed to do. And that largely has to do with the opportunities that I think the agreement creates. If I take a look at global investment – and to use the numbers that John and I were both saying earlier at the top of the call – if I take a look at these numbers, that’s where the new investment policy is, and Americans are doing very well in that investment environment.

So I expect us to want to stay in the discussion, stay active in the negotiation, but actually increasingly worried about the risks. If we take a look again back at our domestic circumstances, flooding in Florida is a real consequence of climate change. The issues around superstorm Sandy and the flooding of the New York subways is a climate change phenomenon. If we think about the increasing drought in the American Southwest, we have – probabilities have increased substantially because of climate change.

So in my view, the issue of long-term dynamics here continues to play in favor of the U.S. staying deeply engaged. We’re a leading country. We’ll continue to be a leading country. I think that’s the likely outcome and that’s the message that we’re going to be passing on to the global community.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of John Upton from Climate Central. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah. Thanks for taking the questions. It’s been clear that neither the shipping nor the aviation industries have any kind of climate action plan that’s in line with the Paris Agreement, and I was wondering if the State Department sees these as a problem, and if so, how might emissions from shipping and aviation be addressed if those industries don’t take those steps themselves?

MR PERSHING: So let me just take a first cut, and John might want to add some things here. The first thing is that in the civil aviation agreement that we just reached what was clear was that there are a number of pathways for the aviation community. One is a degree of improved efficiency, and they’re currently working on that and that’s a longstanding interest. Fuel costs are one of the highest costs for the aviation sector. But a second one is that we currently don’t have scaled-up options where they can just convert to another fuel, although that’s coming and technology is certainly moving. And so there has been developed in the aviation organization an agreement to work on offsets, where they can buy reductions in other sectors that can offset their own emissions while they are working on technologies themselves to reduce their emissions.

A similar kind of a level of effort in understanding the opportunities is available in the shipping space. We’ve just had a meeting of the International Maritime Organization, the IMO, that met in London a couple of weeks ago. And the context of that agreement, what they decided to do was to develop a long-term strategic plan. Now, ships – like aviation, pretty complicated, but even more so because of the diversity of the variety of classes, the sizes of vessels, the places that they go, the kinds of fuel that they use. So the idea here is to work on a much more detailed and disaggregated strategy where you can think about alternative options and ways that you could reduce emissions from the sector.

A lot of design areas have gone into this; can you make hulls more efficient? Can you make the engines more efficient? Can you look at fuel replacement choices? The idea was a plan agreed at the IMO, and agreed for the first time after years of negotiation, was to advance the thinking and make available a strategic vision for how to carry this sector forward. So I see real windows and real shifts and these two sectors are in some sense the harbinger of things to come. Sectors are beginning to say, “This is the world of the future. I have to do what I do with a much smaller footprint. And how do I make that happen, what are my technical opportunities, where does my investment have to go?” That’s the dynamic of the future and we’re starting to see that with these two agreements in particular.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Karl Ritter from the Associated Press. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you. Back to Trump and his promise to cancel the deal if elected and the concerns that the U.S. withdrawal or backing away from its commitments could have some implications for the deal itself. I mean, we saw with the Kyoto deal that once the U.S. didn’t join, it really didn’t have much of an impact and other countries eventually dropped out or decided not to meet their commitments. Do you get the impression that the rest of the world would move forward with the Paris Agreement even if the next U.S. president were to withdraw United States from the deal?

MR PERSHING: Let me take a first crack at that and John might want to add something. The thing that I think is fundamentally different about this agreement than any prior one is it’s built from the national circumstances and national decisions of countries. It’s not a top-down negotiation where the globe decided internationally about what each country should do. Each country put forward its own development plan in the context of aggressive efforts to reduce emissions. And so my take is that won’t change; it doesn’t matter who is in the United States, it matters what countries have decided to do. And what I see from China, what I see from Brazil, what I see from small countries like Costa Rica, what I see from poorer countries like Nigeria, like Senegal – I see them all prioritizing this because it’s part of their development agenda. I see them looking at how they get access to clean electricity – not just that it’s clean, but because they need to access, and the least cost way is a solar panel. I have seen thinking about electric vehicles, not because it’s clean – although it is – because it means reduction in the imports of fossil fuel, oil in particular, which drive security. I see dynamics in which they reduce deforestation because it has huge impacts on water quality, as well as being a climate agenda.

So for me they have identified things that meet multiple purposes and I don’t think the U.S. dynamic is the key, I think it’s this domestic agenda that stays high. And the fact that it was agreed by heads of state making these high-level political statements to me gives it even more force, even more likelihood of moving forward.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Peter Fairley from MIT Tech Review. Please go ahead. Mr. Fairley, your line is open. Please check your mute button.

QUESTION: Can you hear me now?

OPERATOR: Yes, sir, go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you. My question, Jonathan Pershing, you I believe made some comments a week or two ago about setting or unveiling a path to decarbonize the U.S. by 2050 at this meeting, and I was hoping you could talk a little bit about why you’re presenting that, a bit about the outcomes that you see in that path and especially where it came from. Who did the modeling for this? What’s the kind of basis for the path?

MR PERSHING: Thanks very much. This is work that’s still underway. We’re working to finish it by the end of the year, which isn’t very far out, so we’re looking to do it quite soon. The intent here is to think in the long term, not only in the near term. At the moment, what we have from the world are commitments for 2025 or for 2030, but we know that by 2050 or certainly by the end of the century we’ve got to have deep de-carbonization. Twenty percent is not enough, thirty percent is not enough. We need to think about an 80 percent reduction or perhaps more. The President himself has talked about an 80 percent reduction as a place that we should be by 2050, and we have to think about how we do that. What are the kinds of elements that you want to be thinking about here?

And this is work that’s been going on for some time. The United States can draw on a rich diversity of academic work – work that’s been done at MIT, among other places, but also at Stanford, also in the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories thinking through what are our technology choices, what are the opportunities for various kinds of reductions in each sector, how do you think about land use and forestry, not just energy? How do you think about transportation and industry and buildings? All of these provide opportunities for deep reduction. And we see real windows for change here. We see examples in other parts of the world and in some cases the United States where people have gotten 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources on individual days and increasingly now for weeks at a time. That’s a possible trend.

We see domains in which countries like Brazil are aggressively moving to completely get out of illegal deforestation. That could have a reduction that applies broadly. And if we look on our side at ways to manage our forests, we could maintain a forest sink.

We see programs in which you can now buy a building, a house, that’s net-neutral, does not produce any more and does not consume any more energy than it produces, has no net energy demand. That’s new. That’s the last few years of technology. That’s now available. Those are the kinds of trajectories we want to be on.

So we’re looking at all of these. We’re doing modeling with our EPA, with our Department of Energy and the Energy national labs, drawing on an academic community and wide literature around the world. And we look forward to continuing this discussion, not just over the course of this year, but beyond that as we look for much larger, deeper reductions in the longer term.

QUESTION: So you’re really just announcing that this work is underway and is coming within months as opposed to unveiling the findings?

MR PERSHING: So we intend to have it before the end of the year. The exact timing is still to be determined.

QUESTION: Thank you.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Susan Phillips from NPR. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. Thanks for having the call. So since subnational actors like cities will have to put much of what’s required by these agreements into practice, and given their limited resources, it seems that a local government would prioritize adaptation over reducing emissions, right, because they just are going to get more back for their dollar regarding that. So I’m wondering what’s the federal government’s role and what’s your plan to make sure that cities and local governments work to meet the emissions goals that the State Department’s agreeing to in these agreements.

MR MORTON: I’ll just jump in really quickly here, Jonathan, and then hand it to you. I would say thank you for the question. It’s – you’re absolutely right. The focus or the question of adaptation versus mitigation is one which has been central in conversations in previous COPs and will continue to be in this COP. I think you will – you should stay tuned for announcements that we and others will have with respect to adaptation and our commitments to adaptation going forward. We certainly will have some new things to say around our commitment to adaptation.

With respect to the role of local and state governments, I think you’re absolutely right, that in many cases the focus is on adaptation. I would not, however – I would, at the same time, say that local and state governments have a lot to do and are doing a lot already on the mitigation side. The policies, plans, codes, et cetera, zoning requirements and things that are at the control of local – state and local officials are often as heavily focused on the mitigation side or can be as heavily focused on the mitigation side as on the adaptation piece. So I think both sides are very important for state and local actors. And we will have some adaptation-related announcements to make during the COP.

Jonathan, would you add anything there?

MR PERSHING: The only one point I’d make is that the former Mayor Bloomberg has been appointed as the envoy for cities to the climate change negotiations and the process. And he is a tireless advocate not only for the adaptation agenda, but also for the mitigation opportunities represented by cities. And we have a full day devoted to cities, a theme day, at Morocco. And I think we’ll see a lot of city action on display at that session.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Coral Davenport from the New York Times. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. Again, thanks for having the call. This is a little bit more of a logistics question, but you refer to these, Jonathan, as negotiations. And I’m trying to get a sense of what precisely will be sort of the concrete outcome that will be negotiated. And you specifically talked about the sort of – the first example you gave was a system of the monitoring and reporting verification. How – is that kind of an outcome that we can expect to see? If we wouldn’t see that at the end of the Marrakesh conference, when would – that seems like something like a concrete thing that’s going to be negotiated. When are we going to see: this is the system that will be used?

MR PERSHING: Yeah. Thanks very much, Coral. A couple of things here. The first is that this is the first meeting of something called the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. And the reason it’s the first meeting is we passed the threshold for entry into force enough times before the meeting that the first meeting could be held in Morocco. So there are a number of decisions around that. We’ll see some decisions for a work plan probably coming out. That gets negotiated, because there’s a task – a number of tasks, including on this transparency work, including on adaptation, and including on some of the deliverables for subnational entities. All of that comes forward.

But – so the work plan happens here. The work itself will take place between now and probably 2018. So I don’t anticipate that we’ll see a set of decisions that are conclusive from this meeting. They’re more like process decisions: how will the work be carried forward; what do we prioritize, what things do we want to pick up first or second; what’s the sequence of play that we have going forward. So I think that will be a lot of this technical work on the logistical side for conclusions.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Emily Gertz from Participant Media. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hello. Thank you for having this call. In regards to the tracking of emissions reductions, forests were included in the Paris Agreement, and forest conservation and preservation were included as paths towards net-zero carbon. But all the science so far seems to indicate that deforestation is outracing conservation and reforestation in the world as a whole, despite some significant increases in some areas, such as China’s reforestation program. A lot of countries have made commitments on these fronts, but they’re – the action on the ground still seems lacking. I wondered where you think discussions on forests and their role in mitigation are going to go at this COP?

MR PERSHING: Thanks very much. Two things that I would just bring to your attention: The first is that I think we, for the first time, have got commitments from developing countries where a lot of the deforestation is occurring that we never had before. And I think that the level of commitment has risen; often it’s heads of state who have made it. I am struck by the continuity in some places of the policy. So for example, in Brazil, President Rousseff made the original commitment, but President Temer has followed it up and is the person who ratified the Paris Agreement with this commitment at its heart. And for them, they’re looking at halting illegal deforestation entirely.

I look at the consequences of a country like Indonesia, which has got one of the largest forest covers of any country in the world. Vice President Kalla came to a meeting in New York, which I was on a panel with him, where he spoke explicitly about the Indonesian vision of avoided deforestation and radical reduction and managing both the intensification of agricultural crops to minimize the need for it, but also looking at significant penalties for illegal deforesters.

I had some time talking to people in the Congo – Congo Basin, another huge forest cover area. We’re seeing enormous interest there in avoiding deforestation and this comes from the heads of state. So I’m seeing a new trend in a way that I didn’t think we used to have where this is the policy that people are investing in. So I’m much more optimistic than I had been, although I take your point, this is not easy. It speaks to a number of different dynamics in the forest community that we have to manage.

There’s going to be a lot of discussion around this in Morocco. I think it’s going to be a discussion that will be ongoing, not just in Morocco, but beyond that. The number of drivers that are there around agriculture, around the use of (inaudible) paper products, around the questions of can you sustainably manage new forest development? All of these are new ideas or ideas that are taking hold in the national community with resources to match them in ways that I think will drive the consequences down.

OPERATOR: Thank you. And at this time we have an opportunity for one final question and that question comes from the line of Timothy Cama from The Hill. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, thanks. Just kind of from a ten thousand sort of view or so, could you tell me what are the United States goals going into this conference? What sort of do you hope to gain out of it if anything?

MR PERSHING: So let me start it. John might want to add a couple of things here. I’ve put them in three boxes. One, we are seeking to make the world aware that we are continuing to prioritize this issue. Paris was not the end; Paris is a step. This is the first phase of an implementation agenda elevating that. Two, we are working to develop the rules and the guidelines that will give more flesh on the framework we developed in Paris. And three, we are looking to elevate the implementation agenda. This is the start no longer of a negotiating discussion around text; it’s the start of an implementation and action program. And that will be manifest by a variety of people from the U.S. but around the world coming to enforce and to move forward on their emissions reductions.

MODERATOR: Okay. All right, I think that concludes our call for the day. Thank you for joining us and we look forward to reading your stories. Thank you.