President Obama has lowered the bar for December’s Copenhagen climate change conference by talking down the importance of arriving at an agreement on global warming by the end of the year. Obama’s position contradicts the United Nations and others who see the conference in Denmark as a crucial moment for stemming climate change. — JCL
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Barack Obama has talked down the importance of sealing a global deal on climate change before the end of the year, world leaders said yesterday.
Obama’s comments, made in private talks at the G20 summit, downplay the need to reach a strong deal at UN talks in Copenhagen in December and contradict the United Nations and others, who have billed the meeting as a crucial moment for the world to avoid catastrophic global warming. The president did win a partial victory on his signature climate issue at this G20 summit – removing fossil fuel subsidies – but there was no headway on the much bigger issue of climate finance, which Obama had taken up as his issue at the last G20.
Barring small but significant steps forward from China and India, there has been little progress this week at a UN summit or the G20 towards a deal at Copenhagen. Obama’s remarks yesterday resonated among world leaders, who have been looking to America – as historically the world’s greatest polluter – to lead on climate change.
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