Obama fails to deliver at COP15
By Cherelle Jackson
COPENHAGEN - US President Barrack Obama failed to deliver new targets or ambitious goals at the Conference of the Parties today.
The President made no new announcements and stuck to the US reserved stance on climate change.
"We have established a 17% cut in emmissions by the year 2020," he said
"It is in our mutual interest to hold each other accountable to certain commitments and after months of talk, after innumerable side meetings, bilateral meetings, endless hours of discussions, I believe pieces of that accord should now be clear."
Obama who did not adhere to the ideal emmission reduction of 40% as demanded by developing nations, went on to demand from other fellow developed nations.
"All major economies must put forward decisive national action to reduce their emmissions," he said.
Todd Stern the US Special Envoy for Climate Change has already dismissed the idea that the US might comply with calls for industrialised nations to cut carbon emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
"In our judgment [this kind of cut is] not necessary and not feasible given where we are starting from," he said.
The US offer of a 17 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 was made "in the context of an overall deal in Copenhagen that includes robust mitigation contributions from China and the other emerging economies," a White House statement said.
The Statement went on to say: "In light of the President's goal to reduce emissions 83% by 2050, the expected pathway set forth in this 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 and demonstrates a significant contribution to a problem that the U.S. has neglected for too long."
Obama in his speech today said the US is already doing everything they can and complying with their own commitmeents.
He asked for more accountability: "We must have a mechanism to ensure whether we are keeping our commitments, and exchange this information. We need to ensure we are living up to our mutual obligations."
Obama says an international agreement where parties are not sharing commitment is a "hollow victory."
The President reiterated a US$100 billion injection of funds into mitigation and adaptation efforts in the most vulnerable countries.
But the financial assistance had terms, he said: "It will be invested only if it is part of a broader accord in mitigation. Transparancy and financing is a clear formula, one that embraces the principal of common but differentiated response, one that takes up farther than we have ever gone before as an international community."
But the $100 billion dollar promised is viewed by some countries as a pay off for not meeting targets.
The demands of developing countries and campaigners for a 40% minimum emissions cut by rich countries has been a constant theme in the run up to Copenhagen.
If successful Copenhagen will produce an agreement that will hold insutrialised nations accountable for their emmissions.
Scientists have recommended that averting catastrophic global warming requires industrialised countries to cut carbon emissions by 25% to 40% by 2020.
The US emmission targets falls short of the minimum cuts of 25%.