Obama Presses for a Deal in Copenhagen

Posted December 18, 2009 at 7:38am

Updated: 12:40 p.m.

President Barack Obama on Friday addressed the climate change conference in Copenhagen with an urgent demand that nations to take action now.

“I’m sure many consider this an imperfect framework,— he said, adding that the world has little to show for two decades of negotiations but an acceleration of the problems. “The time to act is now.—

Obama declared, “That’s why I come here today — not to talk, but to act.—

The president spoke as world leaders scramble to rescue a climate deal after overnight negotiations by staff failed to reach accord. Obama also met for 55 minutes on Friday with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and “made progress,— a White House official said.

White House officials said Obama and Wen were headed into a second meeting at Obama’s request.

Convincing China to accept a deal has been a critical hurdle in the talks.

The official called the discussion “constructive— and said that the two leaders touched on all of the three issues Obama raised during his speech: emissions goals from all key countries, a verification mechanism and financing.

Obama and Wen asked their negotiators to get together one-on-one after the meeting, as well as with other countries, “to see if an agreement can be reached,— the White House official said.