Paris climate talks slowing amid confusion over legal status

The climate change talks in Paris are moving much slower than expected, while clean energy proponents say confusion is growing over whether a deal would be a legally binding treaty that must be ratified by Congress.

"Momentum provided by leaders … has yet to [see] significant progress on the text" of any final deal, said Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, speaking to reporters in Paris Thursday.

He was joined by the former deputy administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Bob Perciasepe, who heads the group, which works with states and local governments to advocate clean energy solutions. The group will be hosting EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at events in Paris this weekend.

Diringer said the "pace needs to pick up" if the nearly 200 countries at the United Nations summit are to meet the Dec. 11 deadline for an agreement. At the same time, he said there has been a great deal of confusion over whether any agreement would be legally binding and how Congress would respond if the deal were codified as a formal treaty.

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