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  • Eli is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine.
 

Obama's Speech in Copenhagen: Right at China

18 December 2009 9:38 am
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President Barack Obama's speech in Copenhagen included some unexpected additions in which he subtly pushed China to change its position on "transparency" of emissions cuts, as the United States is calling it.

Molly Moore points out that the speech included a few new phrases for emphasis on that issue, which has pitted the United States against China and dominated the final days of the talks:

President Obama came on strong and said exactly what needed to be said. His spontaneous comments were even stronger and more pointed that his prepared remarks. Check out the italicized additions to the prepared text:

And that is why I have come back here today. Not to talk, but to act.

On the issues of accountability and transparency, he stressed: I don’t know how you have an international agreement where we are not sharing information to be sure we are meeting commitments. It doesn’t make sense. That would be a hollow victory.

He has now gone into meetings with world leaders to try to sort out the spaghetti of proposals and see if nations are indeed ready to stop posturing and start acting.

(Thanks to Michael Levi for tip.)

Still remains to be seen if the deadlock—which negotiators were hoping to avoid—will mean a failure for the meeting, as some are predicting.

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