President Obama to Attend Copenhagen Climate Talks
During his brief time there, Obama will announce a U.S. emissions reduction goal "in the range of 17% below 2005 levels in 2020 and ultimately in line with final U.S. energy and climate legislation." This range is consistent with the targets being debated in the U.S. Congress and is the first step toward 80% reductions with a pledge to reduce emissions to 30% of 2005 levels by 2025.
Many climate organizations expressed relief and encouragement the Obama will take initiative at Copenhagen.
"President Obama is taking the full power and prestige of the highest office in the land to Copenhagen. He goes with a serious climate protection proposal from the United States that shows we mean business, said Frances Beinecke, president at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"President Obama's personal involvement in this historic event shows the U.S. is serious about protecting the climate and creating a clean energy future for the world, said Jennifer Haverkamp, managing director of International Policy and Negotiations at EDF. "With the President attending, the odds of Copenhagen producing real progress leading to a final, effective agreement in the coming months just shot up."
At least 65 world leaders will attend the summit, but unlike Obama, most are expected to attend the final days of the Dec. 7-18 conference. The White House announcement has triggered renewed calls for other world leaders to attend the summit, such as Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Chinese President Hu Jintao, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
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