President to Attend Copenhagen Climate Talks

President to Attend Copenhagen Climate Talks

Browner still expecting substantial progress.

The White House says President Obama will travel to Copenhagen on Dec. 9 to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The President believes it is possible to reach a meaningful agreement in Copenhagen. The White House said the President's decision to go is a sign of his continuing commitment and leadership to find a global solution to the global threat of climate change, and to lay the foundation for a new, sustainable and prosperous clean energy future.

The White House also announced, the President is prepared to put on the table a U.S. emissions reduction target in the range of 17% below 2005 levels in 2020 and ultimately in line with final U.S. energy and climate legislation. Pending legislation would entail a 30% reduction below 2005 levels in 2025 and a 42% reduction below 2005 in 2030. This provisional target is in line with current legislation in both chambers of Congress.

A host of Cabinet secretaries and other top officials from across the Administration will travel to Copenhagen for the conference. They include: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, and Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner.

While expectations of progress in Copenhagen have dropped dramatically over the past several weeks, Browner expects there will be a real demonstration of what each individual country is willing to do, that it will be verifiable, and that it will be transparent.

Browner remains positive that comprehensive energy reform will come to pass based on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill that passed the House last June. The White House continues to push three goals: break dependence on foreign oil; become a global leader in clean energy technology; and cap pollutants that contribute to global warming and climate change.

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