President Barack Obama spoke on the last day of climate talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The President called on all major economies to put forward decisive national actions that will reduce their emissions and turn the corner on climate change.
Excerpt From NYT’s ClimateWire, By DARREN SAMUELSOHN AND LISA FRIEDMAN
Behind the scenes, dozens of presidents and prime ministers worked on a three-page document that they hope will become the lone outcome of the two-week negotiations here.
But the blame game is also under way with more than 115 heads of state in Copenhagen — many with years of work and their prestige on the line — struggling to bridge a divide between the world’s rich and poor nations. Several major industrialized countries pointed the finger at China for balking at demands to ensure their emission commitments would be open for public scrutiny.
A hush fell over the entire Bella Center during Obama’s eight-minute speech (pdf). He took on climate skeptics with his opening words and then made an all-out push for a collective agreement.
“While the reality of climate change is not in doubt, I have to be honest, as the world watches us today, I think our ability to take collective action is in doubt right now and it hangs in the balance,” he said. “I believe we can act boldly, and decisively, in the face of a common threat. That is why I have come here today. Not to talk, but to act.”
But with nearly 200 countries handing the negotiations over to their heads of state after two brutal weeks of gridlock, those talks have yet to bear any fruit.
China’s leader ignores compromise meeting
Obama and 19 other world leaders, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, met for about 90 minutes in the Bella Center trying to find a compromise.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao boycotted the meeting and instead sent his vice foreign minister, He Yafei. In remarks to reporters, Sarkozy noted the protocol breach and said an agreement remained out of reach because of Beijing’s resistance to emissions monitoring.
Read the rest of the story at the New York Times: Obama Tries to Rally U.N. Climate Conference, but Deadlock Persists