Today marks the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, which will last through December 18th. UN Climate Chief, Yvo de Boer, spoke optimistically of the negotiations, saying, “Never in the 17 years of climate change negotiations have so many different nations made so many firm pledges together. Almost every day countries announce new targets or plans of action to cut emissions.” The U.S. is committed to forging an international response and achieving a successful outcome.
Climate Change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet, and the United States is taking significant action to meet this challenge. Under President Obama, the U.S. has done more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than ever before, and is demonstrating its commitment to lead through robust domestic action including historic investments in clean energy, stringent vehicle and appliance efficiency standards, and comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that is making its way through Congress.
But no nation can solve this crisis on its own. Climate change is a global challenge that demands a global solution. The U.S. is engaging allies and partners around the world to forge the necessary international response and to achieve a successful outcome at the UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen.
Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern will lead the U.S. delegation during the two-week conference, and President Obama will attend the closing day on December 18th. Other U.S. departments and agencies will join the Department of State on the delegation, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Interior, Transportation, and Treasury; the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Trade Representative; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. delegation will also include officials from the National Security Council and the White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Members of Congress.
Ultimately, a successful international climate agreement must complement and promote sustainable development by moving the world to a low-carbon, clean energy future that provides all nations the opportunity to grow.
To read the full text of the White House statement on the COP15, please click here.