Obama says he will attend Copenhagen climate talks, also announces emissions reduction target

Maybe he liked the city? Either way, President Barack Obama announced today that he will attend the climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December. The climate summit is held between 7-18 December and is the last chance we have to take action against “the greatest threat the world has ever faced”.

“U.S. President Barack Obama will go to Copenhagen for a U.N. climate change meeting on December 9, hoping to add momentum to an international process despite slow progress on a domestic bill to cut carbon emissions",
Reuters reports
.

"Obama planned to make a visit at the beginning of the climate negotiations in Denmark, an administration official told Reuters on Wednesday, before picking up the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in neighboring Oslo.”

With him to the climate summit Obama has a pledge to cut emissions in the USA with 17% from 2005 levels by 2020, 30% by 2025, 42% by 2030 and 83% by 2050. But these numbers are much lower than those proposed by the EU and other industrialised countries such as Norway.

The numbers are also much lower than what the science says is needed to avert catastrophic man-made climate change. According to the IPCC report in 2007 industrialised countries such as the USA needs to cut their emissions by 25-40% by 2020. The global environmental alliance TckTckTck calls for developed countries to cut emissions with 40% by 2020. And according to paleoclimate scientist Dr Andrew Glikson we need to cut carbon emissions with up to 80% by 2020 to avoid catastrophe.

In response to Obama's announcement the UN climate chief, Yvo de Boer, said that “the world is very much looking to the United States to come forward with an emission reduction target and contribute to financial support to help developing countries.”

But Obama does not plan to join around 65 other world leaders during the final days of the UN climate meeting. Despite this the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen praised Obama’s decision and said that “the visit underlines the president's desire to contribute to an ambitious, global agreement in Copenhagen”.

World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Program Director, Keya Chatterjee, said that the environmental organization is “pleased” that President Obama will attend the climate summit. But also noted that:

“If his presence during the latter days of the COP becomes necessary to secure the right commitments, we hope the President will be willing to return to Copenhagen with the rest of the world's leaders during the final stages of the negotiations.”

Greenpeace USA Global Warming Campaign Director, Damon Moglen, response was a bit harsher. In a statement Moglen said Obama’s short visit “amounts to nothing more than President Obama taking a photo opportunity on his way to pick up the Nobel Peace Prize.” Moglen also said that the international community cannot take Obama’s emission pledge seriously:

“The proposed emissions reductions target – 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 – is less than one seventh of what the European Union leaders have said they are prepared to commit. The proposed reduction refers to 2005 emissions and not the standard 1990 baseline used by scientists and policymakers around the world. Arranging the numbers this way may be more politically palatable, but it misleads the public on information key to its welfare.

Science calls for the United States and the developed world to cut pollution by at least 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent by 2050. Using this accepted standard, the announced target that the U.S. plans to bring to the table shoots for only a 4 percent cut in pollution.”

You can learn more about the Copenhagen meeting here.


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Simon Leufstedt
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Guest canadaguy

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The US and China have finally announced real numbers for their targets to reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately these numbers, especially from the US, are far too weak. We need a strong agreement at Copenhagen, but this won't get us there. In many ways, a weak agreement at Copenhagen could be even worse than no agreement, as it would lock in targets too small to make a significant difference.

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The pressure in the end of the day jould come from public, green organization should publish more research about cause and effect.

There is so much knoledge from research that we are not aware of- all of that should be sent to the powerful people.

The rate of smokers in the public is lower than in the 70th as we all know It's effect and lots done about it.

If more Information will be published and send to the government, Must as well be part of eduction system.

Indoor polution for example is a great cause for cancer and so easy to resolve with plants.

There is so much to do and to change and the time to do is now

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Guest Joe the Public

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Its good that Obama is going to Copenhagen. At least it shows he is a little interested in solving this mess!

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Guest Linking

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Hm

I don't know whether Obama's goals to going to Copenhagen were fulfilled.

I looked up that he meant to come up with a better agreement, notably with the joint effort of South Africa, India, China, Brazil, and Russia, yet he was unable to meet with all of the nations at once (ironic, since a lower-level US official came across a meeting between representatives of the previous countries discussing together).

In addition, we'd really need to change our lives to meet that goal, which may be a little tough for us.

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Guest Gucci Sunglasses

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Well Climate summit in Copenhagen comes to an end without any positive resolution because there created two opinions about the policy so that's nothing decided.

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Guest Barack Obama Magazines

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Barack Obama is everywhere and tackling every problem possible, I think this is a good thing pending the outcome of the decision.

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What’s more, we’ve looked at what happens when these guidelines go to far.

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Guest lucy

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Malheureusement, ces chiffres, en particulier des États-Unis, sont beaucoup trop faibles. Nous avons besoin d'un accord fort à Copenhague, mais cela ne nous y arriver. À bien des égards, si plus d'informations seront publiées et envoyer au gouvernement, doit ainsi faire partie du système vidange. http://cailily.blog.com/

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