Countries such as the United States can come up with ideas for a U.N. climate pact beyond an April 24 deadline, the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat said on Friday.
Among a few submissions this week, African nations said developing nations will need to get at least $267 billion a year by 2020 to help them fight climate change under a treaty due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.
Many other nations have laid out their views of the content of the deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. But the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, who took office in January, has said it will miss the April 24 deadline.
There is a bit of leeway for parties to submit documents in coming days if they have good reason, said John Hay, spokesman for the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, saying it was not too late for Washington and others to submit ideas.
Obama wants to cut U.S. emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020 as part of the deal meant to rein in global warming blamed on greenhouse gases released by burning fossil fuels. In 2007, U.S. emissions were 16.8 percent above 1990 levels.
But Washington has given few details of how it wants a U.N. pact to work, such as funding for developing nations or how far countries such as China or India should rein in emissions.
I think there is some understanding of a little bit of flexibility in the deadlines, but not a great deal, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern said on Tuesday.
We will be making submissions on a number of subjects in a few days, he told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Hay at the U.N. Secretariat said the April 24 deadline was set to ensure that documents reach drafting experts in good time before a next round of 190-nation talks from June 1-12 in Bonn.
Under the timetable, the first draft of a full negotiating text will be debated at the June talks as part of efforts to slow global warming that may bring more droughts, floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels.
Deadlines for submissions are often missed -- some texts were late ahead of the last meeting in Bonn in April.
Stern told Reuters on Thursday that U.S. flexibility in negotiating a new climate pact depended on passing a U.S. law to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which he said was not an insurmountable task.
The African nations said this week that developed countries should cut emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid the worst of climate change -- far deeper than cuts being considered by the United States and other rich nations.
(Editing by Janet Lawrence)