Doubling Down on Climate: Obama Going to Copenhagen


obama climate change twn.jpg
Big news from the White House. President Obama WILL attend the Copenhagen Climate Summit and has put forward specific targets that he is willing to put on the table.
This is important because previously the White House and many political advisers around this issue had begun to downplay Obama’s willingness to have much exposure on the climate change challenge while still fighting a battle on health care and when ensnared in a the complications of redefining America’s course in Afghanistan.
But this is bold — and deserves credit for boldness. I really didn’t think that President Obama would go — so this is a big course correction.
The operative segment of the White House announcement on Obama’s on climate change proposal is:

. . .the President is prepared to put on the table a U.S. emissions reduction target in the range of 17% below 2005 levels in 2020 and ultimately in line with final U.S. energy and climate legislation. In light of the President’s goal to reduce emissions 83% by 2050, the expected pathway set forth in this pending legislation would entail a 30% reduction below 2005 levels in 2025 and a 42% reduction below 2005 in 2030.

The White House statement follows after the break.

Office of the Press Secretary
November 25, 2009
President to Attend Copenhagen Climate Talks
Administration Announces U.S. Emission Target for Copenhagen

The White House announced today that President Obama will travel to Copenhagen on Dec. 9 to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where he is eager to work with the international community to drive progress toward a comprehensive and operational Copenhagen accord. The President has worked steadily on behalf of a positive outcome in Copenhagen throughout the year. Based on the President’s work on climate change over the past 10 months – in the Major Economies Forum, the G20, bilateral discussions and multilateral consultations – and based on progress made in recent, constructive discussions with China and India’s Leaders, the President believes it is possible to reach a meaningful agreement in Copenhagen. The President’s decision to go is a sign of his continuing commitment and leadership to find a global solution to the global threat of climate change, and to lay the foundation for a new, sustainable and prosperous clean energy future.
The White House also announced that, in the context of an overall deal in Copenhagen that includes robust mitigation contributions from China and the other emerging economies, the President is prepared to put on the table a U.S. emissions reduction target in the range of 17% below 2005 levels in 2020 and ultimately in line with final U.S. energy and climate legislation. In light of the President’s goal to reduce emissions 83% by 2050, the expected pathway set forth in this pending legislation would entail a 30% reduction below 2005 levels in 2025 and a 42% reduction below 2005 in 2030. This provisional target is in line with current legislation in both chambers of Congress and demonstrates a significant contribution to a problem that the U.S. has neglected for too long. With less than two weeks to go until the beginning of the Copenhagen conference, it is essential that the countries of the world, led by the major economies, do what it takes to produce a strong, operational agreement that will both launch us on a concerted effort to combat climate change and serve as a stepping stone to a legally binding treaty. The President is working closely with Congress to pass energy and climate legislation as soon as possible.
Underscoring President Obama’s commitment to American leadership on clean energy and combating climate change, the White House also announced today that a host of Cabinet secretaries and other top officials from across the Administration will travel to Copenhagen for the conference. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson are all scheduled to attend, along with Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, and Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner.
For the first time, the U.S. delegation will have a U.S. Center at the conference, providing a unique and interactive forum to share our story with the world. In addition to working with other countries to advance American interests, U.S. delegates will keynote a series of events highlighting actions by the Obama Administration to provide domestic and global leadership in the transition to a clean energy economy. Topics will range from energy efficiency investments and global commitments to renewables policy and clean energy jobs. The following keynote events and speakers are currently scheduled:
· Wednesday, December 9th: Taking Action at Home, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
· Thursday, December 10th: New Energy Future: the role of public lands in clean energy production and carbon capture, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
· Friday, December 11th: Clean Energy Jobs in a Global Marketplace, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke
· Monday, December 14th: Leading in Energy Efficiency and Renewables, Energy Secretary Steven Chu
· Tuesday, December 15th: Clean Energy Investments: creating opportunities for rural economies, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
· Thursday, December 17th: Backing Up International Agreement with Domestic Action, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley and Assistant to the President Carol Browner
These events will underline the historic progress the Obama Administration has made to address climate change and create a new energy future. In addition to passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House of Representatives this summer, Administration officials will highlight an impressive resume of American action and accomplishments over the last 10 months, including:
· Recovery Act: The U.S. is investing more than $80 billion in clean energy through its Recovery Act – including the largest-ever investment in renewable energy, which will double our generation of clean renewable energy like wind and solar in three years.
· Efficiency Standard for Automobiles: President Obama announced the first ever joint fuel economy/greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks in May. The new standards are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program with a fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions.
· Advancing Comprehensive Energy Legislation: Passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation is a top priority for the Administration and significant progress has been made. In June, The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act that will promote clean energy investments and lower U.S. greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent by 2050. The Senate continues to advance their efforts to pass comprehensive legislation and move the U.S. closer to a system of clean energy incentives that create new energy jobs, reduce our dependence on oil, and cut pollution.
· Appliance Efficiency Standards: The Obama Administration has forged more stringent energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential appliances, including microwaves, kitchen ranges, dishwashers, lightbulbs and other common appliances. This common sense approach makes improved efficiency a manufacturing requirement for the everyday appliances used in practically every home and business, resulting in a significant reduction in energy use. Altogether, about two dozen new energy efficiency standards will be completed in the next few years.
· Offshore Energy Development: Within the Administration’s first 100 days, a new regulatory framework was established to facilitate the development of alternative energy projects in an economic and environmentally sound manner that allows us to tap into the vast energy potential of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The National Renewable Energy Lab estimates that development of wind energy alone on the OCS may provide an additional 1,900 gigawatts of clean energy to the U.S.
· Emissions Inventory Rule: For the first time, the U.S. will catalogue greenhouse gas emissions from large emission sources – an important initial step toward measurable and transparent reductions.
· The Major Economies Forum (MEF): President Obama launched the MEF in March 2009, creating a new dialogue among developed and emerging economies to combat climate change and promote clean energy. At the July L’Aquila summit, MEF Leaders announced important new agreements to support the UN climate talks and launched a new Global Partnership to promote clean energy technologies.
· Eliminating Fossil Fuel Subsidies: The President spearheaded an agreement at the Pittsburgh G20 summit for all G20 nations to phase out their fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term and to work with other countries to do the same. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations followed the G20 lead at their summit in Singapore, expanding the number of countries committing to these subsidies. According to the International Energy Agency, this measure alone could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent or more by 2050.
· Bilateral Energy and Climate Partnerships: The U.S. is accelerating its collaboration with China, India, Mexico, Canada and other key international partners to combat climate change, coordinate clean energy research and development, and support the international climate talks.
· Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas: President Obama proposed a partnership with our neighbors in the western hemisphere to advance energy security and combat climate change. An early product of this cooperation is Chile’s Renewable Energy Center, which receives technical support from the U.S. Department of Energy.
· Phasing Down HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons): The U.S. joined Canada and Mexico in proposing to phase-down HFC emissions, a very potent greenhouse gas, in developed and developing countries under the Montreal Protocol. This represents a down payment of about 10% of the emission reductions necessary to cut global greenhouse gas emissions to half their current levels by 2050.
— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “Doubling Down on Climate: Obama Going to Copenhagen

  1. nadine says:

    Mann’s response does not answer anything. If you’ve got an unexplained decline in one of your temperature sources, the proper response is to publish it and try to explain it, not stop the graph in 1960 to “hide the decline” which was what Mann did. He has no answer for that. Even one of his IPCC reviewers told him to publish the data.
    No group of scientists should be allowed to publish irreproducible results with non-public data and say, “trust us, we’re scientists”. No group of scientists should be allowed to use bully-boy tactics to prevent skeptics from publishing papers so that skeptics can be derided as “not published” instead of answered on the evidence. No group of scientists should be allowed to peer review each others’ papers until the peer review process becomes a closed circle.
    And all of these goes double when these scientists are asking the governments of the developed world to fork over billions of dollars to avert a supposedly imminent catastrophe!
    The CRU files are devastating because they show evidence of a conspiracy to commit scientific fraud. Whether for career, for money, for influence, or maybe because they really believed in the dangers of AGW. Whatever. In coming weeks and months we will see McIntyre and the other skeptics digest the evidence and report on how deep the rot went.
    From what I have seen, it’s plain that the CRU database, one of the three global temperature data sources, has been arbitrarily fiddled with and manipulated to the point where it is not trustworthy without an outside review. Note: I’m not talking about the climate model. The data is not trustworthy. What I’ve seen leads me to suspect that it has been fudged to produce the “right” answer, the answer with a lot of global warming, mainly by artificially surprresing temperatures prior to 1950.
    At this point, I do not know if any global warming even happened in the 20th century. Maybe it was all just part of an unremarkable normal variation in climate.


  2. questions says:

    For samuelburke:
    Probably it won’t do anything to change your mind, but at least the link is here…..


  3. silver slipper says:

    I definitely agree with Nadine and samuelburke! Scientists have a lot a explaining to do, and politicians are doing a injustice to continue to advance the plans to increase energy costs when there is such a cloud of doubt over the evidence the scientists have used up to this point! I find it amazing that there have been many new species of marine life in the deep ocean. The story says these creatures use oil and methane as an energy source! That terrible, awful oil is actually something that a marine animal in the deep feeds on. There is so much we don’t know about this amazing world! We need our scientists to be honest with their facts – not political! See this link regarding the new species found –


  4. samuelburke says:

    the truth is a harsh judge.
    “It is a characteristic of all movements and crusades that the psychopathic element rises to the top.” ~ Robert Lindner
    “How much longer will Al Gore get a pass from the mainstream media? A little bit longer if their failure to react to the devastating revelations of files hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia is a measure. Their behavior reflects how most, especially from the left, have abetted the scientists who deliberately perverted climate science.
    We now know Gore’s errors are based on the global-warming fraud orchestrated by a few scientists centered round Phil Jones, Director of the CRU. Emails between those climate scientists, identified by Professor Wegman as publishing together and peer reviewing each other’s work disclose the complete manipulation of climate science and the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Bishop Hill provides a useful summation of some of the outrageous comments and actions. What is missing is the nasty vindictive tone that permeates almost every item.
    What are the mainstream media going to do? How can they ignore the biggest scandal in science history and then claim any credibility? We already have a strong indication because they either don’t cover it or claim, like Andrew Revkin of the New York Times, there is nothing of consequence. No surprise because he was in direct communication with the CRU gang. Other left-wing outlets have similar reports such as the Guardian in England and Harrabin at the BBC. Delingpole at the Telegraph identifies some vapid responses.”
    Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)
    Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)
    Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow!
    Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)
    Phil Jones says he has use Mann’s “Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series”…to hide the decline”. Real Climate says “hiding” was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)
    Kevin Trenberth says they can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can’t.(1255352257)
    Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi’s paper is crap.(1257532857)
    Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)
    is there any chance that your blog can address what appears to be a global governance warming scandal?


  5. nadine says:

    So Obama is going off to grace the moveable feast at Copenhagen, where all the global warming fly all over the world to warn the rest of us that about carbon emissions.
    Think any of them will mention the turd in the punchbowl, the release of files/emails from East Anglia CRU showing that not only are the climate models iffy, the global temperature database is a pile of crap, assembled from many sparse and doubtful sources arbitrarily “corrected” to give the “right” answer, i.e. the desired answer that supports global warming? Temperatures before 1950 have been systematically lowered, and temperatures post 1950 have been systematically raised. No wonder CRU wouldn’t respond to FOIA requests to release their data!
    The Left can keep pretending that nothing untoward has happened, but if they think the governments of the developed world, from who they are now asking very serious amounts of money, will aid the cover up, I suspect they will find they are much mistaken. There is something about asked to cough up billions of dollars that concentrates the mind.
    For more on the CRU data manipulation see


  6. Just another guy says:

    So he makes these commitments — how does he think he can get this legislation through Congress when Majority Leader Harry Reid puts the legislation off until next “Spring” — translation: never in 2010 — and then Democrats lose their 60 seat majority in November and a significant number of seats in the House (and at the rate they’re going, the majority in the House)? All hat, no cattle. But it’s not as simple as that — if he makes commitments he cannot deliever and the US Congress will not agree with, how is this different than Kyoto? And won’t this further diminish our standing globally — just as Clinton’s failure to secure approval of Kyoto has damaged the US reputation abroad?


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