December 7th, 2009
03:56 PM ET
8 months ago

Spokesman: Obama hopes to help secure climate deal

A White House spokesman said Monday that the president hopes to secure a deal at the Copenhagen climate talks.
A White House spokesman said Monday that the president hopes to secure a deal at the Copenhagen climate talks.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama rescheduled his trip to climate-change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, so that he can help push for a possible deal closer to the end of the meeting, his spokesman said Monday.

White House Secretary Robert Gibbs told journalists that recent signals of new commitments by China and India created possible momentum toward an agreement at the U.N.-led climate change talks that started Monday and are scheduled to conclude on December 18.

Obama initially planned to visit the Copenhagen talks on Wednesday, the day before he receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Instead, the president will go to Copenhagen on December 18, at the end of the talks.

"I think everybody agrees that we are in a better position - I mean, we, globally - to get some sort of agreement out of Copenhagen," Gibbs said. "And the president believed, having helped to work both in enunciating our commitments as well as ensuring that the Indians and the Chinese talked about their commitments, that we could move that (Obama's trip) to the end of the conference, when some agreement is likely to need some help from world leaders."

Negotiators representing almost 200 countries are trying to reach agreement in Copenhagen on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the first global climate change treaty that expires in 2012.

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 was more important that he be there at the end of the meeting.

Divisions between industrial powers such as the United States and major emerging economies such as China and India on commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions have threatened to undermine the Copenhagen talks.


Filed under: Energy • Obama administration • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. American Airman

    What is the carbon footprint for the President to make TWO trips to Europe in the matter of two weeks instead of just one? Not only will we pollute the environment with the exhaust from Air Force One, but the National Airborne Command Post will most certainly be enroute both times as well, not to mention the various escort aircraft that will ensure an incident free trip.

    Was this really the best way to demonstrate to the world and to our nation that we are serious about Greenhouse gases and protecting the environment?

    This guy is a joke. When is he going to quit campaigning for president, and start doing the work of president????

    December 7, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Steph

    President Obama worked tirelessly to create agreements with China and India. Now three governments have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I'm happy to see him time his trip to have the most impact on securing a climate deal.

    Americans have an opportunity to lead on green energy! We need to sieze this moment to create new technology, new jobs, new opportunities, instead of constantly complaining about how the "other country" is taking away our jobs. I'm very sick of that victim mindset. Innovate or die.

    December 7, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Re-read the e-mails........

    the data has been doctored........global warming is a scam and Al Gore and his companies are the beneficiaries........let's not use our tax dollars to fill Al Gore's coffers......if the data was there, why would they have to doctor it?

    December 7, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Chicago Mob

    Need to get this climate change deals done fast before the public figures we're hosing them.

    December 7, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Johnny DC

    Yes, now is certainly the time to address climate issues. With an economy on the brink of collapse and debt rising into unforeseeable levels for our children, lets establish rules that will cripple any growth we may have hoped to muster in the near future.

    Great idea. Use your votes wisely in 2010 and 2012, people.

    December 7, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Joe

    I have a solution for it. What we need to do first is find the highest mountain peak in the world. Built one the biggest humidifier in the world, and put it on top. I bet that will clean the atmosphere. Really, what they expect to achieve in copenhagen. Look at China for example, they turn their street light at noon from all that smog in the air. Some industrial town have black smoke clouds with no drop of rain in sight. Good discussion subject, but that's how far it will go.

    December 7, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Grrr-awful-o

    How about slowing down a little, Barack, huh? All we know for certain about this is that it will cost the United States a vast amount of money. And India and China have already made it more than clear that they are not on board. As has been pointed out, all of these expensive plans will (at best) make a dent of a fraction of 1%. We've already chained our children and grand-children to the huge corporate bailouts. We're now going to chain them to a massively expensive government healthcare system, followed by paying even more vast sums for a not-well-understood global warming plan. Much of which will end up going to China and India! Our emerging main competitors. Just slow it down til we can see through the fog and stop driving at 60 mph through it!

    December 7, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. ted

    Im sure that obama is looking to spend billions more of taxpayer money that the country will have to borrow from china. How's that HOPE and CHANGE workin out for ya.

    December 7, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "if the data was there, why would they have to doctor it?"

    Actually, if you look at what was done, instead of simply believing the cherry-picked out-of-context quotes from what was obviously a deliberately-timed energy-industry-motivated (and likely paid for) hackjob, you'd realize that, e.g., the "trick" referred to in the emails was the scientific community's well-documented decision to stop using tree rings as a temperature indicator over a decade ago because tree rings from teh 1960's started providing faulty data...whereas the thermometer readings and other measurement techniques continued to agree with each other. Look under the hood instead of jumping at the chance to have your daydream version of reality confirmed by a bunch of conspiracy theorist morons who probably think climate change is all up to God and that evolution is also "just a theory."

    December 7, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. JT Dale the college freshman

    I think that whether or not you believe in global warming, can we at least agree that we need a clean environment?
    Can we at least agree that we need to be energy independent?
    Can we at least agree that we need to use more alternative energy, so that our environment is not polluted by the overuse of oil everday?
    Can we at least agree that we need to create a green, clean energy, and self independent economy runs on that type of clean energy?
    Can we all agree that we need to create a clean, healthy environment for futue generations?
    If we do all of those, we can truly be the greatest country this earth has ever seen and will ever see. I believe America has yet to see its finest generation of people. Lets get to work, and make that thought a reality.

    December 7, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. MR RIGHT

    How long will it take for SOMEONE (hint manstreem media) to get the guts to show global warmining zealots for what they are, corrupt opportunists who will capitalize on ANY environmental panic. The data is skewed and false, these pseudo scientific politicians tell outright lies (Obama too) yet the band marches on.

    December 7, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Whether the report is doctored or not, global warming is real and we better address it now and stop taking it off the table simply because of ignorance.

    December 7, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Marie Laveaux

    Good work, Mr. President. I, for one, am grateful for your constant attention and efforts to address this issue. I hope you succeed in all that you do.

    December 7, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Val in MA

    Yup, fits Obama's character perfectly – take credit for other people's effort. Still, there will be NO "agreement out of Copenhagen" – the President once again will come home empty-handed with his tail between his legs. But off course he would not admit it – he would claim that we had "too high expectations" – his usual excuse.

    December 7, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |