December 18, 2009
Heads of State Work to Clear Copenhagen Road Block
Just hours left for 192 nations to forge a climate agreement that moves the world towards solving climate warming and the bounty of a clean energy economic transition. For most of the last two weeks in Copenhagen it’s been a tough hike. Today it was no easier. Developing nations seek commitments on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide that are significantly higher in the short-term than developed nations say they are ready to enact. Developed nations disagree on how much they should contribute to a global fund to cool the planet and heat up the economy.
Yesterday, though, a gust of progress seemed to blow through Copenhagen’s Bella Center, where the UN Climate Change Conference is occurring. The United States started the day with a commitment to help finance a $100 billion climate and energy fund, the first time the U.S. has formally recognized the magnitude of the investment needed globally. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the commitment predicated on the Chinese allowing the world to measure and verify carbon reductions there.
The Chinese followed later in the day — no surprise — with assurances that it would be much more transparent in reporting progress its commitment to reduce carbon emissions. The negotiation seemed to breathe more freely after both announcements. However, the high hopes that awaited the arrival of President Obama sunk after a lack of new movement and substance in his speech.
At this writing, late in the afternoon on Friday, President Obama is in Copenhagen trying to work out an agreement that heads of state will embrace. USCAN has been working hard to achieve real action here. See our articles and video from Copenhagen to stay abreast of progress.
Talk to you next week, Keith Schneider