Obama shifts visit to final day

For a green future: All eyes on Copenhagen

Obama shifts visit to final day

In a written statement, it said the president believed that he could have a more decisive impact by appearing at the end of the 12-day conference, when as many as 100 other heads of state are scheduled to show up, rather than on next Wednesday as originally planned.

The original date was timed to coincide with the president’s trip to Oslo on Thursday to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Administration officials still acknowledge that the meeting in Denmark will not produce a binding international treaty, as had earlier been hoped, but rather an interim political deal and a promise to reconvene next year to work towards a formal treaty.

The White House said it believed that it was still possible to conclude a “meaningful Copenhagen accord” in which all countries pledged to take immediate action to address climate change. In the past two weeks, the US, China and India have all announced targets for reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases.

The White House said Obama had discussed the matter this week with the leaders of France, Britain, Australia and Germany. Many world leaders and environmental advocates had been urging the president to attend later in the conference as a symbol of his commitment to a successful outcome.

“Based on his conversations with other leaders and the progress that has already been made to give momentum to negotiations, the president believes that continued US leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18 rather than on December 9,” the White House statement said.

Prez’s commitment

“There are still outstanding issues that must be negotiated for an agreement to be reached, but this decision reflects the president’s commitment to doing all that he can to pursue a positive outcome,” the statement added.

Among the issues still under consideration is a “fast-start” fund of roughly $10 billion to be financed by wealthy nations to help poorer nations adapt to a changing climate and convert to less-polluting forms of energy. There is no agreement yet on how the fund should be structured and who should pay into it, but it is clear that this is one area in which Obama thinks he can be useful. “The US will pay its fair share of that amount and other countries will make substantial commitments as well,” the White House said.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry