Obama’s Common Sense in Copenhagen

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What follows below is a chunk of the President’s speech today in Copenhagen.
I am not sure whether Obama’s presence and behind the scenes arm-twisting of other leaders will secure a deal there, but I do think that his outline here today is pragmatic and sensible:

As the world’s largest economy and the world’s second largest emitter, America bears our share of responsibility in addressing climate change, and we intend to meet that responsibility. That is why we have renewed our leadership within international climate negotiations, and worked with other nations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. And that is why we have taken bold action at home – by making historic investments in renewable energy; by putting our people to work increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings; and by pursuing comprehensive legislation to transform to a clean energy economy.
These actions are ambitious, and we are taking them not simply to meet our global responsibilities. We are convinced that changing the way that we produce and use energy is essential to America’s economic future – that it will create millions of new jobs, power new industry, keep us competitive, and spark new innovation. And we are convinced that changing the way we use energy is essential to America’s national security, because it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help us deal with some of the dangers posed by climate change.
So America is going to continue on this course of action no matter what happens in Copenhagen. But we will all be stronger and safer and more secure if we act together. That is why it is in our mutual interest to achieve a global accord in which we agree to take certain steps, and to hold each other accountable for our commitments.
After months of talk, and two weeks of negotiations, I believe that the pieces of that accord are now clear.
First, all major economies must put forward decisive national actions that will reduce their emissions, and begin to turn the corner on climate change. I’m pleased that many of us have already done so, and I’m confident that America will fulfill the commitments that we have made: cutting our emissions in the range of 17 percent by 2020, and by more than 80 percent by 2050 in line with final legislation.
Second, we must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and to exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we are living up to our obligations. For without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page.
Third, we must have financing that helps developing countries adapt, particularly the least-developed and most vulnerable to climate change. America will be a part of fast-start funding that will ramp up to $10 billion in 2012. And, yesterday, Secretary Clinton made it clear that we will engage in a global effort to mobilize $100 billion in financing by 2020, if – and only if – it is part of the broader accord that I have just described.
Mitigation. Transparency. And financing. It is a clear formula – one that embraces the principle of common but differentiated responses and respective capabilities. And it adds up to a significant accord – one that takes us farther than we have ever gone before as an international community.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

One comment on “Obama’s Common Sense in Copenhagen

  1. samuelburke says:

    “Climategate just got much, much bigger. And all thanks to the
    Russians who, with perfect timing, dropped this bombshell just
    as the world’s leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to discuss
    ways of carbon-taxing us all back to the dark ages.”
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl/climategate-goes-serial.html
    “Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the
    country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data
    submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports.
    Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-
    temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the
    lack of meteorological stations and observations.
    The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley
    Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often
    does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century
    and the early 21st century.
    The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing
    incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process,
    rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.
    On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of
    meteorological stations far more often than those providing
    complete observations.
    IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located
    in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-
    warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote
    stations.
    The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to
    temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the
    world’s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate
    all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such
    exaggeration.
    Global-temperature data will have to be modified if similar
    climate-date procedures have been used from other national
    data because the calculations used by COP15 analysts, including
    financial calculations, are based on HadCRUT research.”

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