Obama heads to Copenhagen

December 17, 2009 at 10:17 AM Leave a comment

President Barack Obama heads to Copenhagen on Thursday to help secure a U.N. climate pact, staking his credibility on an as yet elusive deal that has ramifications for him at home and on the world stage.

Obama is expected to arrive in the Danish capital on Friday morning, joining about 120 other world leaders to finish a complicated process of reaching a political agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming.

The time is short and the stakes are high. With his top domestic priority of healthcare reform legislation percolating in Washington, the president plans to stay in Copenhagen less than a day.

That may or may not be enough time to overcome persistent disagreements between developed and developing nations that have marred two weeks of talks, but Obama’s presence and contribution could be a potential deal-maker.

The United States has proposed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 17 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. That corresponds to a 3 percent reduction from 1990 levels, the baseline used by the European Union and others.

Obama is unlikely to propose a more aggressive emissions reduction target, which many countries have demanded. His goals are based on a bill that passed the House of Representatives but has yet to go through the Senate before it can become law.

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Entry filed under: Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Green Help, National News. Tags: , , , , .

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