Obama to Attend End of Copenhagen Summit
US President delays his visit to the conference and will be there for last day, when other world leaders are expected to be in attendance.
Last updated on: December 07, 2009 6:21 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to attend the closing of the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, because of what the White House sees as progress toward a "meaningful" deal.
President Obama had originally planned to visit Copenhagen at the beginning of the meeting, but on Friday his spokesman said he would delay the trip until the end of the conference when other world leaders will attend.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday the president believes U.S. leadership would be "most productive" at the end of the conference on December 18.
Gibbs said progress was being made toward "a meaningful Copenhagen accord" in which all countries pledge to take action against the "global threat of climate change."
World leaders are aiming to reach a summit deal that includes agreements on reducing emissions and offering climate aid for developing countries.
Mr. Obama's itinerary change came a day after India said it would slow the rise of its greenhouse gas emissions. China announced its own targets for cutting carbon emissions last week, a day after Washington announced U.S. goals.
The White House said Friday the United States is ready to pay a "fair share" of $10 billion per year in climate aid to developing countries as part of a deal at the summit.
World leaders will be negotiating a climate change agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
President Obama's trip to Copenhagen will take place one week after he accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.