Breaking: Obama Will Visit Copenhagen Climate Talks, Announce 17% Emissions Cut

Eli is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine.

The big news this morning is that President Obama will attend the Copenhagen meeting and probably announce a U.S. commitment, contingent on Congressional agreement, of a 17% cut in greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2005 by 2020.

Now two questions loom. First, how credible will the White House's offer be in Copenhagen? This announcement could be undermined by just a few Senators trying to scuttle the deal. Second, does Obama risk promising more than he can deliver? That's what happened to President Bill Clinton in 1997 when his negotiators agreed to U.S. cuts without backing from Capitol Hill.

The details just released in an email from the White House:

In addition to working with other countries to advance American interests, U.S. delegates will keynote a series of events highlighting actions by the Obama Administration to provide domestic and global leadership in the transition to a clean energy economy.

  Topics will range from energy efficiency investments and global commitments to renewables policy and clean energy jobs.  The following keynote events and speakers are currently scheduled:

· Wednesday, December 9th: Taking Action at Home, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

· Thursday, December 10th: New Energy Future: the role of public lands in clean energy production and carbon capture, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

· Friday, December 11th: Clean Energy Jobs in a Global Marketplace, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

· Monday, December 14th: Leading in Energy Efficiency and Renewables, Energy Secretary Steven Chu

· Tuesday, December 15th: Clean Energy Investments: creating opportunities for rural economies, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

· Thursday, December 17th: Backing Up International Agreement with Domestic Action, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley and Assistant to the President Carol Browner

These events will underline the historic progress the Obama Administration has made to address climate change and create a new energy future.  In addition to passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House of Representatives this summer, Administration officials will highlight an impressive resume of American action and accomplishments over the last 10 months

Posted in Policy, Climate