Today's Report From Copenhagen

Highlights from the climate change conference on Dec. 16

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(Editor’s Note: This file presents news and information from the Copenhagen climate change conference on Dec. 17, distilled from news outlet reports. Check for updates during the day.)

: A leaked draft document at Copenhagen suggests that the political agreement being forged will allow the planet’s temperature to rise so high that disastrous consequences will result.

: Money appears to be thawing the stalled climate change negotiations. China, in response to Hillary Clinton’s promise (see paragraph below) to pay, is now signalling its willingness to cooperate. Sounds like a major break.

The U.S. will contribute to a $100 billion annual fund to help low-income countries deal with the effects of climate change, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton announced today – a sign of hope at a conference mired in low-income vs rich issues, reports The New York Times With President Obama on his way to Copenhagen for a climactic summit tomorrow, Clinton’s pledge may help strengthen the president’s bid for international leadership on the issue. Perhaps more immediately important, the funding promise seems to have gotten conference talks going again. But time is running out…

President Obama leaves today for Copenhagen, but his hopes of making the U.S. a credible climate change leader could be torpedoed by Congress, warns Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen. Legislators are shaping a compromise that allows existing, dirty, coal-fired power plants to escape crucial pollution controls.

Climate change disputes are heating up the Republican Party faster than the planet, reports The Christian Science Monitor. Sarah Palin is accusing Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of choking his state’s economy with green policies, and Arnold says Sarah has her head buried in the snow. Some strong Republican legislators are on Arnold’s side, but Sen. James Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma is on his way to Copenhagen, not only to debunk global warming science but to warn confreres that Congress won’t support strong limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

The list of what hasn’t been resolved yet in Copenhagen is long. Here’s The National Post’s scorecard.

For perspectives, news and information from environmental groups at the conference, check out the The Copenhagen New.


From 2006–2014, Terry was managing editor for Earthjustice's blog, online monthly newsletter and print Earthjustice Quarterly Magazine.

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