December 4th, 2009
05:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama shifts schedule, will attend end of climate change summit

Washington (CNN) - In a change of plans, President Barack Obama will attend the end of an upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, the White House said Friday.

"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 U.S. leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18 rather than on December 9," said a statement from Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs.

"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," the statement said.

Obama's initial plan to attend only the beginning of the conference was criticized by some, including the environmental activist group Greenpeace, which said it is more important that he be there at the end of the week.

"President Obama needs to be there at the same time as all the other world leaders –December 18," said Mike Townsley, a spokesman for Greenpeace. "This is when he is needed to get the right agreement."

The statement from Gibbs said the United States will have representation in Copenhagen from State Department and Cabinet officials throughout the negotiating process.

Obama has said he would be in Oslo, Norway, to accept his Nobel Peace Prize on December 10.

The White House statement said the president has discussed the status of climate change negotiations with the leaders of Germany, France, Britain and Australia.

"There appears to be an emerging consensus that a core element of the Copenhagen accord should be to mobilize $10 billion a year by 2012 to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable and least developed countries that could be destabilized by the impacts of climate change," it said.

The White House has said that Obama is prepared to set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels over the next decade.

It has also reiterated Obama's goal of reducing U.S. emissions by 83 percent by 2050.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Mike in MN

    Sure, Mr Nobel Pease prize winner will fly in at the last minuet and try and take credit for what ever may get accomplished. Hopefully that will be nothing.

    December 4, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. 'Search and Destroy' is now 'Sweep and Clear'

    See, since they can't prove "global warming", they have to use the new catchphrase, "climate change". When it snows in Houston, that's "climate change", not "global warming", see?

    December 4, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. gt

    where is china and india ...... oh ya.. laughing and getting there plans for more industry so there people will have jobs,,,, i forgot,,,,

    December 4, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. chris l


    December 4, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Considering all those leaked emails, isn't the "climate change" nonsense pretty much dead? Not that I mind Obama being out of the country where he can do less damage, but what's the point in him going to this conference?

    December 4, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. mjm

    No talk of Climate-Gate?

    Global warming is the biggest scam scine the $787 billion "stimuless" package.


    Libs are suckers. Gore is going to make billions off this scam.

    December 4, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. horsense

    This schedule change means that the current Administration is very rattled about "climategate". The think this wimp negotiator will bring a signed treaty back that will give him the legality to rob in the form of taxation.

    The libtards think they can tax the weather now. Gawd!

    December 4, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Dennis in AZ

    For those of us who have seen the decline of US manufacturing and the outsourcing of industry to other countries, we sort of wonder 'what's the point in decreasing our emissions?" The US Government already facilitated a major decrease in emissions by allowing our industry to be outsourced. Now we're all out of work and you want to put more of a burden on the industry we have left? Want to put more of a burden on the people who have to commute to work via automobiles? When it comes to the climate summit, the Administration needs to just LET IT GO. It would be a great political victory for China if we let the world regulate our economy. I didn't know we were in the business of facilitating political victories for communist countries at the expense of our own freedom.

    December 4, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. New Father

    It only cost the taxpayers a little over a million bucks and it makes him look good to all of the European countries he helped bring millions of green jobs to. That's right almost a billion of the stimulus to foriegn countries because they make the wind mills and own the solar companies where the tax rates are lower. Go Bozo and please stay in Europe after all that is your unwelcomed vision for the US.

    December 4, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Gerry NH

    2 questions. How much of our money is he going to give away & who will he be bowing to??

    December 4, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. m smith

    the man gets criticized if he breaths, Cut the guy some slack. As for global warming all the repos care about is the dollar. They look for any excuse to say there is no global warming . I guess we can just pass this around since no one wants to do anything except point at other countries .The wing nuts don't mind passing this one on to their kids. They won't need to worry about paying on the deficet if they breath

    December 4, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Greg, MN

    Climategate on NBC tonite... the lie is exposed if anyone wants to believe the facts! the spin is to fun to believe all the evidence. Its all BS because its a trail, a cash cow, and a unending blackhole of money for the "researchers" at liberal universities.

    December 4, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. Nevada dude

    Get over it you silly repubs. scientists dont always agree on everything, but unlike politicians, that doesnt poison the debate. If you dont believe that 250 years of spewing industrial pollutants into the air cant cause change in the earth then you are truly ignorant. if you dont think its harmul, your are dangerous as well.
    go to Beijing any time (except during the olympics, when they closed factories to clear the air), and see the pollution in the air that covers everything and is getting people sick. we used to have those problems here but we imposed the Clean Air Act to protect the health of Americans.
    Anti-energy proponents are so against innovation, a surprising revelation because it is innovation that fuels democracy.

    December 4, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. mjm

    The Earth is cooling...not warming. Either way, man has nothing to do with it. The sun burns brighter at times....that's all.

    Do you really think liberals are going to save you from the sun?

    Thank god for Climate-Gate.

    December 4, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    The schedule change means that President Obama has the intellect and capacity to handle a dynamic situation.

    Unlike the previous occupant of the White House, who choked on a pretzel while sitting down and every time the going got rough, either jetted off to Texas for some brush clearing or gazed at Google Earth pictures of his ranch on his computer monitor (no lie – look it up!).

    December 4, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. ib

    Global warming or climate change is the biggest farce that has ever been put over on the working man. I have always said it is a farce. If Obama believes so strong in it why doesn't he park AF1 for at least one week instead of leaving the world's biggest carbon footprint??

    December 4, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. j-stl

    Too bad the English tossed the original data – now all we are left with is global warming fiction. L. Ron Hubbard anyone?

    December 4, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. Republican no More

    Gotta admit guys, the release of those 'Let's do some tricks with numbers since we aren't able to PROVE climate change' memo's make you feel a bit duped by people too set on proving something with the ACTUAL numbers.

    I'm not saying there is no reason for us to act irresponsibly with our fossil fuels. But tell Gore to STFU. I don't think any one was driving cars prior to the last wo Ice Ages. Climate change, fluctuations, are a natural cycle the earth goes through. Period. Nothing will change that. Period.

    December 4, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Boy, you naysayers here are dumb ... yes, winters are harsher, because the earth is warming, which causes the polar ice caps to melt, which makes the oceans rise, which effects temperatures and climate ...

    You guys need to go back to high school science 101 and study-up on how inter-related and dynamic the earth's climate is.

    *Sigh* so many of our citizens only know how to turn on Fox News, type up a few talking points and hit the Submit button ... and their brain activity stops there ...

    December 4, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Tim

    Let him do the his job. Stop minute by minute coverage...

    December 4, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. Tony T

    Thankfully someone has gotten a hold of those emails and exposed the fraud, that normal thinking people already knew. No Cap and Tax, no windmills, no solar panels, no green fantasies. This country needs real power coal and nuclear. Tree huggers can put up all the windmills they want, give me my cheap, plentiful, reliable big power plants.

    December 4, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. Joshua College Station Texas

    All those who doubt global warming are falling victim to the old maxim about the frog who was boiled alive. Remember the frog who sat in the water as it was warmed up incrementally? He never realized it was getting too hot and that he should jump out until it was too late, and then he was cooked.

    It is hard to witness global warming by simply walking out the door to look, because it happens very slowly and incrementally. The global temperature only goes up hundredths to tenths of a degree a year. And the result isn't a visibly hotter planet, but one with more volatile climatic processes. As the planet adjusts, oceanic streams move course a few kilometers, seasons come on a little earlier or a little later, and when it gets warmer in one place it forces the temperature to drop somewhere else. Instead of 'global warming' we ought to speak more of "climate change". Climate is defined as weather patterns over an area over time. So, while the earth is warming slowly, that can't be seen, but a direct result is that weather is becoming more dynamic, which can be more readily witnessed. Everywhere I have traveled over the past several years folks have said these like, "summer sure came on early this year" and it's been a colder than usual fall" and "wow, it's raining heavier than I remember for this time of year."

    Folks, regardless of the efforts a few climate scientists may be making to align their analytical methods with that of another lab in order to better understand their results (hello, welcome to science! –that's how it is, regardless of subdiscipline...), doesn't say anything about the abundance of data that demonstrates that the earth's climates are changing and that it is caused by man.

    This is not about Al Gore or a few scientists at one or two institutes. This is about how we interact with the earth that gave rise to us. We can't cut down all the trees and expect there to not be a negative effect.

    You folks who get your talking points from conservative radio and TV simply don't know anything. Are you paying attention? Are you using your brains? Or are you just parroting someone else's opinions?

    December 4, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. Republican no More

    ThinkAgain December 4th, 2009 7:01 pm ET

    Boy, you naysayers here are dumb ... yes, winters are harsher, because the earth is warming, which causes the polar ice caps to melt, which makes the oceans rise, which effects temperatures and climate ...

    You guys need to go back to high school science 101 and study-up on how inter-related and dynamic the earth's climate is.

    *Sigh* so many of our citizens only know how to turn on Fox News, type up a few talking points and hit the Submit button ... and their brain activity stops there ...
    Actually, the nay sayers are saying EXACTLY what you are saying. That happens, and always has. It even happened prior to the existance of man, and his wretched automobile and factories.

    I know you mean well, but honestly, nobody is going to stop the next Ice Age. It's going to happen. It always has and it always will. Why? Because the earth rotates, the sun radiates at different temperatures during it's history, which causes ice caps to melt and then freeze back up.

    December 4, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. WrongKindofChange

    Wake up America and look into the issues. Don't believe everything the media reports. Global Warming is a huge scam. A money maker for those who are pushing it and nothing more.

    December 4, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. sniffit

    This guy is an embarasement.

    December 4, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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