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Sep 30th
Home Community The White House President Obama Meets with 19 Foreign Leaders in Copenhagen (and President Arroyo Is Not in the List)
President Obama Meets with 19 Foreign Leaders in Copenhagen (and President Arroyo Is Not in the List) PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The White House Press Office   
Friday, 18 December 2009 06:55

THE WHITE HOUSE, 12/18/2009 6:20:32 A.M. Pacific Standard Time


U pdate from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

After arriving in Copenhagen for the international climate summit, President Obama joined a multilateral meeting with the following leaders that just concluded:

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Danish Prime Minister Lars L. Rasmussen

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

South African President Jacob Zuma

Mexican President Felipe Calderon

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ###



Office of the Press Secretary

December 18, 2009


A photograph of the President’s bilateral meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao can be viewed HERE.



W ASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama abruptly altered the timing of his upcoming appearance at an international climate summit in Copenhagen, hoping to capitalize on steps by India and China and build a more-meaningful political accord, the White House said.


The move means President Obama will be at the summit on Dec. 18, considered a crucial period when more leaders will be in attendance.


It also means that Obama will be squeezing in a separate, 10th foreign trip before Christmas – a record pace of travel for a first-year President – as a means to giving momentum to a deal aimed at combating global warming.


President Obama had said that he would travel to the Copenhagen conference if his appearance would help clinch a deal. His decision to go early to the two-week meeting was looked upon by many as a sign that an agreement was still a long shot.


But now with the U.S., India and China all with specific proposals on the table for the first time, a political agreement seems more likely. World leaders are no longer expected to reach a legally-binding agreement, as had long been the goal, but are aiming for a deal that includes commitments on reducing emissions and financing for developing countries.


"There are still outstanding issues that must be negotiated for an agreement to be reached, but this decision reflects the president's commitment to doing all that he can to pursue a positive outcome," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. Secretary Gibbs said the U.S. will have negotiators involved throughout the Dec. 7-18 conference.


It is also possible that President Obama could tack on another agenda item to his revamped, final trip of the year: the signing of a broad treaty with Russia to reduce both nations' nuclear arsenals. The White House had hoped that deal would be ready in time to coordinate it with his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, but talks have not produced a final breakthrough. # # #



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Last Updated on Friday, 18 December 2009 07:51
Comments (2)
1 Friday, 18 December 2009 16:00
Wow. It was a truly dynamic convening of thinkers, leaders and activists here in Copenhagen this past week. And today, President Obama addressed this historic occasion and the full conference with a call for international cooperation and action.

Affirming the global impact of a clean energy economy and the urgency of the climate crisis, President Obama recognized the progress made here at COP15 and reasserted America's pledge to forward the work of the conference agenda back home in the United States.

With the steps taken in Copenhagen over the course of the last two weeks, our work at the Alliance is more important than ever -- and the President needs to hear about your commitment to clean energy and climate protection now more than ever before.

What the President asked of the world today we must now ask of our own nation -- to put aside the politics of the day and embrace a spirit of cooperation and bold action. For the workers who need jobs, our families who want security, and for our children who deserve the prosperity, safety, and health that a clean energy future will bring through American leadership.

Watch the speech and send your message about clean energy and climate solutions to the President and your leaders.

The United States needs to make these goals a reality. As the President himself said, he can't do it alone:

"We are ready to get this done today but there has to be movement on all sides to recognize that it is better for us to act than to talk. Better for us to choose action over inaction; the future over the past. With courage and faith, I believe that we can meet our responsibilities to our people, and to the planet."

With all the momentum we have built this past year, and the steps forward at Copenhagen, we can proudly state that we have established a foundation for global progress to address the climate crisis. The United States can and should be the cornerstone of these efforts. But the President is relying on us to keep up the pressure to make sure this happens.

Watch the speech and let the President and your leaders know you support bold action today:

Thank you for being a part of this historic climate meeting at Copenhagen. It has been a rewarding experience this past week, and I'm looking forward to getting back to the U.S. and to our work together building a clean energy future for our country and our planet.


Maggie L. Fox
President and CEO
Alliance for Climate Protection
2 Saturday, 19 December 2009 00:22
Arroyo calls for ‘new global order’

By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:24:00 12/19/2009

Filed Under: Climate Change, Environmental Issues

COPENHAGEN— President Macapagal-Arroyo has called for “a new global order” to combat climate change amid the continued failure of negotiators here to clinch a deal to cut heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

She was the 35th speaker to address the plenary session.

“We come to Copenhagen in partnership with other nations to find a way to meet the harsh impacts of climate change and avert a global climate crisis,” Ms Arroyo said, addressing the high-level plenary session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen (COP15) at 5 p.m. Thursday (midnight in Manila).

The President boarded a chartered Philippine Airlines flight to Manila yesterday at 9:10 a.m. (4:10 p.m. in Manila). She was accompanied by her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, and a lean delegation composed of a handful of Cabinet members and House representatives.

She skipped the formal closing as well as the traditional family photo of the 119 heads of state and government attending the climate summit here as the restive Mayon Volcano threatens to erupt soon.

In her plenary session address on Thursday, Ms Arroyo said: “It is time to harmonize economic development with environmental protection in a new global order where they are not mutually exclusive, but synonymous. It is time all countries of the world owned up to our collective responsibilities. Solving this problem will certainly take years, but we need to start the process now.”

The President issued the call as she delivered the National Statement along with 119 heads of state and government who are here in hopes of sealing a climate deal to cut carbon emissions and provide funds to help developing nations adapt to the disastrous effects of a warming planet.

Bigger emission cuts

President Arroyo stressed the Philippine position along with other poor and developing nations on the need for bigger cuts in gas emissions and for the availability of funds to support climate change measures in poor countries.

“We cannot afford to leave Copenhagen without a deal, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. For an equitable outcome, developed countries need to lead in reducing emissions,” she said.

A robust financial mechanism must also be established to meet the costs of adaptation for developing countries and for effective development and transfer of technologies, the President said.

Ms Arroyo noted US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “groundbreaking announcement” that the United States was “prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries.”

The Filipino carbon footprint

The President also highlighted this stark contrast: The average person in the world has a per capita carbon footprint of 6 tons, while the average Filipino has a per capita carbon footprint of only 1.6 tons. But the Philippines is in the top 12 countries facing the greatest risk from the effects of climate change.

She said the 6-ton average carbon dioxide (CO2) emission must be brought down to 3 tons to stabilize at 450 parts per million (ppm) in 2050. PPM is current level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

“The Philippines is already doing better than that. Our emission is only 1.6 tons per capita, and we are further committed to deviate by 20 percent from our business-as-usual emissions growth path,” she said.

The President, however, did not specify a timeline, or even a specific amount for adaptation funds. (Snipped)

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