AMSTERDAM — The United States assured international negotiators yesterday that it remains committed to reducing carbon emissions over the next 10 years, despite the collapse of efforts to legislate a climate bill.
US delegate Jonathan Pershing told a climate conference in Bonn that Washington is not backing away from President Obama’s pledge to cut emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels.
Pershing said legislation is the preferred way to control greenhouse gases, but the administration “will use all the tools available’’ to reach its target.
Obama made the pledge at a climate summit in Copenhagen last December, and affirmed it in a formal note to the UN climate secretariat. At the time, the House of Representatives had passed a climate bill and the Senate had been broadly expected to follow suit.
But the withdrawal of a scaled down climate bill last week in the Senate raised concern about US commitment to fight global warming and disappointed developing countries that had hoped Obama would seize international leadership on the issue.
The European Union said the failure of the bill encumbered its talks among its 27 member states on whether the EU should increase its pledge to rein in the gases blamed for global warming.
“It hasn’t made the discussion and the debate any easier in Europe,’’ said Artur Runge-Metzger, the European commissioner for climate change.
The EU has promised to cut emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels over the next decade, but said it would raise its target to 30 percent if the United States and other major polluters adopt similarly tough goals.