"Obama Presses China for Accountability on Climate"

"COPENHAGEN -- President Obama called on world leaders to come to an agreement on climate change, no matter how imperfect, and pressed for a global climate change accord to include a way to monitor whether countries -- namely China -- are complying with promised emissions cuts.

Speaking just hours after arriving here for what is supposed to be the last day of high-stakes talk to address global warming, and clearly frustrated by the absence of any agreement, Mr. Obama was both emphatic and at times impatient. ...

 Mr. Obama warned the 119 world leaders gathered at a plenary session at the Bella Center that they needed a mechanism to hold one another accountable for their commitments. 'These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty,' he said, in a direct reference to the concerns expressed by Chinese officials, who have been balking at proposed verification measures. 'They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we are living up to our obligations. For without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page.'

The talks, ongoing for the past two weeks, appeared locked over the verification measures as the final hours of the meeting approached without a deal and with plenty of tension."

Helene Cooper and John M. Broder report for the New York Times December 18, 2009.

Friday, December 18, 2009