Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern addressed the press at COP-16 on December 6. He said, "...I think there has been a lot of quite intensive and active work going on all throughout this conference in the last few days, and I expect that's just going to pick up. I'm not going to say much at the top. I mostly want to take your questions. I would just reiterate what some of you have heard me say before which is: that the key to an agreement here is that we get balance across the issues. I think there is an agreement to be had. I'm quite sure of that, actually. I'm not sure whether we will actually get it. I think that question hangs in the balance. But it's quite clear; it's easy enough to see what an agreement would look like.
"On the subject of balance I think what's critical is that there be genuine balance. And that doesn't mean a great deal of detail on some of the issues and a fifty thousand foot level of principles and little else on other issues. I think what we're looking for is not just very high-level principles, but adequate guidance with respect to the key elements on all the issues that we're looking at. And if you look at what's on the table with respect to finance and technology, adaptation and REDD you see that. And so we're also going to have to see that with respect to the issue of transparency, the so-called MRV/ICA issue -- not just the fifty thousand foot level principles.
"And of course, the other critical issue from our point of view is the need to anchor the pledges from last year in a manner that reflects the parallel structure and the manner in which they were reflected last year. We are very much committed to making progress and really strong progress on the issues of finance, technology, adaptation and REDD as well. We see those as being in the interest, obviously in the interest of developing countries, but also in the interest of the United States because we want to support the development and the low-carbon development, the sustainable development of countries all over the world. So we think this is in our interest. But again, all of this has to move forward on a genuinely balanced basis. And if we can do that, if we can get that balance across on all of the key issues, we will unlock the door to an agreement."
You can read Special Envoy Stern's complete remarks here.