Saturday, December 19, 2009

Obama Salvages 'Meaningful' Agreement at COP15

US President Barack Obama urged international action as the UN climate conference drew to a close. "We are running short on time...These international discussions have essentially taken place now for almost two decades, and we have very little to show for it … the time for talk is over," Obama said.

The President said the US, China and several other countries reached an "unprecedented breakthrough'' to curb greenhouse gas emissions, including a mechanism to verify compliance. To reach this agreement Obama extended his stay by more than six hours and spent the final scheduled day of the climate talks negotiating with world leaders, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The agreement takes the form of a two-page political statement, signed by the US and China as well as the developing nations of India, South Africa and Brazil. The five-nation agreement requires each country to specify their emissions-reductions efforts.

To help poorer nations prepare for climate change, the agreement also includes $30 billion in funding for the next three years, increasing to $100 billion a year by 2020.

However, the agreement does not detail specific emissions-reductions commitments.

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