Saturday, 5 December 2009

Copenhagen climate summit: Barack Obama to attend end of summit

President Barack Obama will attend the end of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen instead of the beginning, the White House has said.

Published: 11:49PM GMT 04 Dec 2009

The US president abruptly altered the timing of his appearance at the conference, hoping to capitalise on steps by India and China in the effort to agree a new global warming pact, Robert Gibbs, the White House official press secretary, said.
"The president believes that continued US leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18th rather than on December 9th," Mr Gibbs said in a statement.

"There are still outstanding issues that must be negotiated for an agreement to be reached, but this decision reflects the president's commitment to doing all that he can to pursue a positive outcome."
Mr Obama had earlier planned to stop at the summit on Wednesday on his way to Nobel Peace Prize events in Oslo.
The move means that Mr Obama will be squeezing in a separate, 10th foreign trip before Christmas - a record pace of travel for a first-year president - as a means to giving momentum to a deal aimed at fighting global warming.
Mr Obama will now leave for Oslo late Wednesday, attend Nobel events on Thursday and return to Washington on Friday.