"Not a word of the new climate agreement currently under discussion has been written, so it is entirely premature to say whether it will or won’t require Senate approval," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The comment comes after the New York Times detailed an Obama administration strategy that would combine voluntary pledges and legally binding elements of a 1992 treaty to make climate change commitments that wouldn't need ratification from two-thirds of the Senate.
The administration has been thought to be devising an arrangement that wouldn't need the green light from the Senate, as Republicans would surely thwart a legally binding international climate treaty. Many countries are looking at United Nations-hosted climate talks next year in Paris as a last chance to secure pledges to restrain greenhouse gas emissions enough by 2020 to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
"Our goal is to negotiate a successful and effective global climate agreement that can help address this pressing challenge. Anything that is eventually negotiated and that should go to the Senate, will go to the Senate. We will continue to consult with Congress on this important issue," Psaki said.