US President Barack Obama has rescheduled his visit to the UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen in order to give momentum towards a “meaningful” climate change, the White House said yesterday.
Earlier, as reported on Ekklesia, the aid agency Christian Aid and other development and environment NGOs had urged Obama, who was originally going to Copenhagen on 9 December 2009, to return to the conference after collecting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.
Now he will be at the summit on 18 December, when other world leaders are expected to be there and when key decisions may be in the offing, the White House said.
“Following bilateral meetings with the President and since the United States announced an emissions reduction target that reflects the progress being made in Congress towards comprehensive energy legislation, China and India have for the first time set targets to reduce their carbon intensity,” the White House statement declared.
It said President Obama had talked with Australian, British, German and French leaders about a possible commitment for rich nations to provide US$10 billion a year by 2012 to help developing countries combat climate change.
The White House statement went on to issue this clarification: “Based on his conversations with other leaders and the progress that has already been made to give momentum to negotiations, the President believes that continued US leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18 rather than on December 9. There are still outstanding issues that must be negotiated for an agreement to be reached, but this decision reflects the President’s commitment to doing all that he can to pursue a positive outcome.”