December 20th, 2009
10:55 AM ET
4 years ago

Obama aide: Copenhagen accord 'a great step forward'

David Axelrod spoke out Sunday about the non-binding agreement that five countries, including the United States, agreed to at the Copenhagen climate talks.

David Axelrod spoke out Sunday about the non-binding agreement that five countries, including the United States, agreed to at the Copenhagen climate talks.

Washington (CNN) – A top White House adviser said Sunday that the limited, non-binding agreement between the administration and four other countries was a step in the right direction in the battle to control climate change that lays the groundwork for more independent efforts by the United States.

“Nobody says that this is the end of the road,” Obama adviser David Axelrod said Sunday of the agreement which calls on countries to identify their own voluntary commitments to reducing climate change so that compliance can be internationally monitored.

“The end of the road would’ve been the complete collapse of those talks [in Copenhagen],” Axelrod added. “This is a great step forward,” he said of the limited agreement reached just as the 12-day meeting in Copenhagen was ending in what many observers predicted would be failure.

Related: Climate change deal reached, U.N. Chief says

Axelrod pointed out that as part of the agreement China and India have set goals for combating climate change. “We’re going to be able to review what they’re doing. We’re going to be able to challenge them if they don’t meet those goals,” Axelrod told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Axelrod also said Sunday that the administration intends to pursue efforts to lessen greenhouse gas emissions even in the absence of making a binding international commitment to do so.

“We’re going to pursue this anyway because the president understands that our future lies with a clean energy economy,” Axelrod said, adding that the administration does not want to put the United States at a competitive disadvantage relative to the world’s other large economies. “Now the Chinese, the Indians, the other major economies are coming along and this is the result of [Obama’s] strong leadership.”

While the White House has sought to tout the Copenhagen accord as a success, many environmentalists and political observers view it as the administration’s last ditch effort not to leave the closely watched Copenhagen talks completely empty-handed.

On the domestic front, a Democratic bill for a cap-and-trade system governing carbon emissions has passed in the House but a similar bill has been stalled in the Senate, which is focused on passing health care reform by year’s end.

Filed under: David Axelrod • Energy • State of the Union
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Death Panel Sarah

    To Chris.....
    Don't bother. They have been 'brain-washed' by talk radio. They wouldn't believe the truth if it burned them(and it might)!!

    December 20, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. unemployed by Obama and now a TPN member

    Oh yea, just another Photo Op for the wanna be dictator of America. This just one of the many JOKES that obama has given the United States. Obama wastes our tax dollars and time with his BROKEN PROMISES.

    Impeach this fool before before he destroys this country.

    December 20, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. sifto77

    GOP has nothing to do with any of these debacles going on in congress right now–yet, listen to CNN bloggers still trying to blame them and Bush for the colossal failures of Obama and co.

    December 20, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. JJ

    The Repuiblicans must be very proud of themselves. They have made our great country into the laughing stock of the entire world.
    @sensible Cape Coral FL

    Hey sensible, it was Obama and Pelosi that went to Copenhagen. Get a grip and get some sense.....

    December 20, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    That brilliant Inhofe flew the very long round trip so that he could spend 3 HOURS ON THE GROUND AND MADE MOST PEOPLE THERE MAD.

    Good job, Oklahoma. No wonder smart people don't move there.

    December 20, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Death Panel Sarah

    Hey JJ...
    He was talking about when Bush and the Reptili'con's were in office....or do you read and understand things like Palin???

    December 20, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. JJ

    Hey JJ...
    He was talking about when Bush and the Reptili'con's were in office....or do you read and understand things like Palin???

    @Death Panel Sarah

    Oh I get it.... It's that blame everything on Bush talking memo you got....
    That's also why we didn't get the Olympics. Was that the Bush buffoon or Obama buffoon I can't remember...

    December 20, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    @Keith in the capital of swineland

    Is that the only retort your republicans can come by? Personal attacks rather than issues? Please enlighten us on the issues son.

    December 20, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. This Republican loves and trusts Obama!

    YEAH and the rest of the world thought Bush was a Sometimes its better to try than do nothing at all. I commend President Obama for at least trying to get all parties to talk openly about a major problem! according to the Republicans its better to not even try at all....when the iranian were cheated out of their elections last year would have been ok for them to not try to topple ahmedinejad? yeah sure dont try or just say NO the Republican mantra thats why tour old boss Bush spent half his presidency on vacation....what great leadersd you Republicans are capable of choosing! Not!

    December 20, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Rich in Kansas

    Copenhagen 2 - Obama 0.

    December 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Chad

    This global warming stuff is a joke. All it amounts to are higher taxes on the U.S. citizens. They will take our money and give it to other countries in order to "save the world". Give me a break!

    December 20, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Bob Jones

    To southern cousin:
    Is your name the family member you are married to?

    December 20, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. RobertJ

    Yes, it's "a great step forward". And the Olympics will be in Chicago. And the Senate health care bill was not an opague backroom deal worthy of Chicago politics. And President Obama has kept his transparency promises. And the insane spending of the past 11 months has been fully necessary and responsible. And it contains no earmarks. And unemployment is being conquered by the Obama Administration. And..... The delusion continues.

    December 20, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Bob Jones

    To honest abe:
    Are you smoking crack or mixing up Obama and the Republicans? Poor Abe would be rolling in his grave to know what filth and gutter slime the Republican Party has become!

    December 20, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    It's entertaining to see Axelrod 's pathetic attempts to put a good spin on Obama's big trip to Copenhagen. It was just another confirmation that this administration has taken the country down a notch in the standing among countries of the world. He should have sent Franken. At least Franken can take professional pride when people laugh at his act.

    December 20, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. Bpin

    Yep. Just throw money at them. That will get them to say yes on something "non-binding". And we call this progress? On one hand, the rock star says we must act now and that there is no time to loose, then he signs a non-binding contract that allows these countries to set their own agenda with our money? I hope the money we give them is fake, because that tis what we will get in return.

    December 20, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Bob Jones

    To unemployed by Obama and now a TPN member:

    Yea sure, Obama came and fired you from your job. Your company was doing awsome before 1-20-2009 right? And now you want to associate yourself with some radical whackjob "party." Keep it up tea-baggers. You are making the Rebublicans look like a bunch of radical extremist fools! The only thing that is going to be the 2010 election for the Dems:-)

    December 20, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Tom in Delaware

    Full Spin Ahead!

    First Copenhagen has a Blizzard and then he comes home to another even bigger Blizzard....I think the 'Big Man' is trying to tell you people somethin' much for Man-Made Global Warming

    Another colossal waste of time and money (American taxpayer money, that is) on nothing but a hoax.

    Thanx Libtards....

    December 20, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Old Farmboy

    I've spent most of the day shoveling up the global warming.....

    December 20, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Biased

    No where but in Obama land do you have nothing turn into a historic event. Obama had to break into a meeting for goodness sake and try for what – he walked with nothing but oh my – it is a wonderful nothing because Obama did it.

    December 20, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. whaley41

    sensible Cape Coral FL December 20th, 2009 11:20 am ET

    The Repuiblicans must be very proud of themselves. They have made our great country into the laughing stock of the entire world.
    Sorry to disappoint you, but the dems and liberals have already done that.

    December 20, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. j

    A step sideways. At least it wasn't a step backwards.

    December 20, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Henry Miller Libertarian...............

    The world was constructed by a higher power from Chemistry. Our body's metabolize from Chemistry. And some Chemicals form compounds when interacting with other Chemicals.'s only common sense to understand mankinds manufactured Chemicals are interacting with Mother Natures Chemicals and causing a reaction. It's really simple. Even if you're not a scientist. So....all the Libertarians can take the Chemicals to their Liberal homes and sleep with em' in their Beds. They can also be free to move next door to all of our nearest factories and interact with those Chemicals too. You see....Chemicals don't care whose Liberal or Conservative....they just interact and form compounds causing destruction......

    December 20, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. vwrtb

    Jj... I think they refer to republicans starting wars with every third world country we can in an attempt to plunder and exploit their natural resources.. Bush has tarnished out country's image for a long time to come... Sorry it wasn't so much improved by the time the Olympic's venue was decided... Short sighted..

    December 20, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Joe M

    This "JOKER" we have in the White House with an IQ the same as his shoe size came back empty handed again like he always does..
    He is the NATIONAL JOKE of the world..But they all had a great vacation trip, lots of good food and drink and a shopping trip to Copenhagen, just before Christmas. While millions don't have food to put on the table....he HI JINKS around the world in AF-1for photo op's

    By 2012 this country will resemble Mexico and the rest of the 3rd world and he will hopefully be history...He is a "one and Done" excuse of a president..

    December 20, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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