Gore expects Obama to attend Dec. climate talks

November 8, 2009

Although he had not yet spoken to the President about global talks, former Vice President Al Gore said that he believes Obama will attend the Copenhagen climate talks in December. Gore said that the President’s attendance would emphasize the Obama administration’s pledge to safeguard the environment. He made these observations while he was being interviewed on ABC’s “Good morning America”.

The talks in Copenhagen will attempt to negotiate a follow on agreement to the 1997 Kyoto protocol. So far, 37 industrial nations are required to cut carbon emissions by five percent (5%) as compared to 1990 levels. They have time until the 2012 expiry of the accord to do so. Although a signatory, the United States has neither withdrawn nor ratified the Kyoto protocol. The signature remains symbolic as Al Gore signed it but stated that it would not be acted upon in the Senate until developing nations were also required to participate under the Protocol. As such, the Clinton administration never submitted it to the Senate for ratification. The Bush administration also followed suit, citing their objection to the exemptions granted to China at the time as their reason for doing so. The United States remains the only country in the world not to ratify the Protocol.

The objective of the Kyoto protocol is the “stabilization and reconstruction of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The 1997 conference was aimed at getting all participating nations to commit to dealing with global warming and greenhouse gas emissions at some level.
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place between December 7 and December 18 at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.