State Dept. Denies Seeking Alternative To Climate Treaty, But Has Been Doing So Since 2009

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Obama administration is planning to make an end run around the Senate in order to get an international climate agreement.

According to the Times, U.S. negotiators are seeking something other than an official treaty, which by the U.S. Constitution requires approval from two-thirds of the Senate. Instead, they hope to negotiate a "politically binding" agreement, and to have it finished before the conclusion of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Paris in December 2015.

The State Department, The Hill reports, pushed back on the Times story Wednesday, with spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying that "it is entirely premature to say whether [the agreement] will or won't require Senate approval."

"Our goal is to negotiate a successful and effective global climate agreement that can help address this pressing challenge," Psaki said in a statement. "Anything that is eventually negotiated and that should go to the Senate will go to the Senate."

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