"Barack Obama's Speech Disappoints and Fuels Frustration at Copenhagen"

"Barack Obama stepped into the chaotic final hours of the Copenhagen summit today saying he was convinced the world could act 'boldly and decisively' on climate change.

But his speech offered no indication America was ready to embrace bold measures, after world leaders had been working desperately against the clock to try to paper over an agreement to prevent two years of wasted effort -- and a 10-day meeting -- from ending in total collapse.

Obama, who had been skittish about coming to Copenhagen at all unless it could be cast as a foreign policy success, looked visibly frustrated as he appeared before world leaders.

He offered no further commitments on reducing emissions or on finance to poor countries beyond Hillary Clinton's announcement yesterday that America would support a $100bn global fund to help developing nations adapt to climate change.

He did not even press the Senate to move ahead on climate change legislation, which environmental organisations have been urging for months."

Suzanne Goldenberg and Allegra Stratton report for the UK Guardian Dec. 18, 2009.

Friday, December 18, 2009