Obama Hails Climate Breakthrough, Promises More Action

Posted December 18, 2009 at 6:39pm

Negotiators in Copenhagen on Friday reached an agreement on climate change, but the deal is not legally binding and President Barack Obama said more needs to be done.Obama, who spoke Friday to reporters, said climate change treaty negotiators had made a “meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough— during the day. “For the first time in history all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change,— Obama said. “These three components — transparency, mitigation and finance — form the basis of the common approach that the United States and our partners embraced here in Copenhagen.—But Obama acknowledged that further talks will be needed to create a treaty that is legally binding and can reduce emissions to the point that he says is needed to stem global warming.“This progress did not come easily, and we know that this progress alone is not enough,— he said. “Going forward, we’re going to have to build on the momentum that we’ve established here in Copenhagen to ensure that international action to significantly reduce emissions is sustained and sufficient over time.— Obama suggested the negotiators had not agreed to the kind of intrusive inspections that some think are needed to confirm progress toward reducing emissions. Instead, he said, there will be a “sense— on the part of those signing the deal “that we’re in this together, and we’ll know who is meeting and who’s not meeting the mutual obligations that have been set forth.—Obama said the targets agreed to by the United States are “reflected— in legislation that passed the House and may be considered in the Senate. “Although we will not be legally bound by anything that took place here today, we will I think have reaffirmed our commitment to meet those targets,— he said.