[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/18/obama12-18-1.gi.jpg caption="Obama near climate change accord with China, others."]
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (CNN) - President Obama is in the final stages of closing a climate change deal with China and other key nations that is expected to be sealed before the president heads home from the Copenhagen summit late Friday, according to a senior administration official.
A second source, an administration official as well, adds that the president is about to announce a "meaningful agreement."
This official acknowledged that "it's not sufficient to combat the threat of climate change but it's an important first step."
The first official told CNN Obama was going over an "approved text" with Chinese officials that would set a non-binding goal of reducing the Earth's temperature by 2 degrees Celsius over the next decade.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/18/art.obama12-18.jpg caption="Obama: U.S., Russia 'quite close' to forging new START treaty."]
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (CNN) - President Barack Obama said the United States and Russia are "quite close" to forging a new nuclear disarmament treaty in a "timely fashion."
Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in a side meeting at the climate change summit here Friday, and the two made brief public comments. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expired earlier this month, and both countries were working to develop a new pact.
"Obviously our main concern in coming to Copenhagen was to try to move forward with an accord on the issue of climate change. But on the margins of this meeting we thought it was important to continue to build on the excellent relationship that our two governments have developed over the last several months," Obama said.
"Our main focus today was the START treaty - the new START treaty that we have been negotiating. We've been making excellent progress. We are quite close to an agreement. And, I'm confident that it will be completed in a timely fashion. And I just want to thank President Medvedev for being a very effective partner in these negotiations. "
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/17/art.getty.obama.walking.jpg caption="Obama committed to going to climate summit."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen,Denmark, Thursday evening to attend the U.N. Climate Conference as planned,despite growing uncertainty that the talks will lead to an agreement, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
"The president is going to travel in hopes of making progress for a strong operational agreement" on climate change, Gibbs said. "There are no changes in the president's plans."
The statement came amid rumors from Copenhagen that Obama would not come if talks deteriorated and it appeared no agreement could be reached.U.S. officials in Copenhagen and at the White House confirmed talks brokedown Wednesday after the Chinese delegation rejected U.S. demands that China, along with other nations, be required to provide "transparency" - proving a commitment to cutting emissions.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday morning in Copenhagen that "we have presented and discussed numerous approaches to
transparency with a number of countries and there are many ways to achieve transparency which would be credible and acceptable. But there has to be a willingness to move towards transparency in whatever form we finally determine is appropriate. So if there is not even a commitment to pursue transparency, that's kind of a deal breaker for us."