Climate Change

Published on November 25th, 2009 | by Tom Schueneman

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Obama Will Go to COP15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen

The White House has officially announced that president Obama plans on attending the COP15 climate change conference held next month in Copenhagen from December 7th to the 19th.

Obama will give a speech at the conference on December 9th on his way to Norway to pick up his Nobel Peace Price on the 10th.

Obama had not committed to making an appearance at COP15, saying he would attend only if his presence would help lead to a successful outcome.

Pressure on the US

Despite his reticence to go to Copenhagen, Obama has been under intense pressure from other world leaders to make a showing at the conference. The negotiating process has been hobbled by the US lack of commitment and hopes are that Obama will lead the way in an American response and commitment to mitigation and finance targets as the international community wrestles with building a new treaty that will both define the second  commitment period for the Kyoto protocol beginning in 2013, and for a larger, more comprehensive agreement that includes the United States.

Numbers on the table

Obama has indicated he will put “numbers on the table” in regard to emissions targets, something that has heretofore been absent from the US in any climate negotiations. Those numbers are likely to please no one, as they will hoe the line already drawn from the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill: “in the range” of a 17 percent reduction by 2020 over 2005 levels. Most developed countries have committed between 20 to 30% in emissions reduction over 1990 levels, and developing countries have called for a need to reduce emission by as much as 40 percent from 1990 by 2020 if the world is to get serious about dealing with escalating emissions and climate change. With 1990 as the reference year, the US proposal represents a 4% reduction in emissions.

Nonetheless, just having Obama show up with a willingness to offer a commitment target is seen as progress. It may be an indication of lowered expectations, but any progress in US involvement in the negotiating process should be seen as a good thing. At least it’s a start.

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About the Author

is an online publisher, editor, and freelance writer. He is the founder of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the History Blog Project, as well as publisher and site director for the HippieMagazine.com. Tom also contributes to numerous environmental blogs, including TriplePundit, Ecopolitology, Sustainablog, and Planetsave.   Tom's work has led him to Europe, Africa, Latin America, Canada, the South Pacific, and across the United States. His home base is San Francisco, California.



  • Steven

    If Obama makes any solid promises around the pseudo-scientific-fraudulent-Global Warming 'debate' at Copenhagen the American People and the people of the world will unfortunately see him as a metaphorical rapist rather than a world leader who works for his nation.

    We are witnessing a stealth-coup-de-ta to oust ALL world National Governments into a corner to make way for a centralized un-publically-debated One-World-Government. PERIOD!

    These people have been hiding in the shadows, manipulating data to create a Gravy train to fund this said government, and have resorted to Fascist tactics and bullying, and they want people to think this would be a GOOD THING for the world???

    Total centralization leads to Fascism and to do it on a world scale would be lunacy. Kind of like giving Hitler the keys to Europe, and then the keys to the whole world without a fight, because he SAID he was a nice guy.

    Wake up world…but judging by the traffic on this issue and the OVERWHELMING consensus that this is FRAUD, I don't think I need to scream so loud anymore. But I will anyway 🙂

  • That's right! The important thing is he showed up and that he will be inspiring many others to do the same or to do more or less just by showing up. Lots of positive thins start from the simplest of things. Here's an article related: http://www.ecoseed.org/en/general-green-news/cope

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