Barack Obama's speech disappoints and fuels frustration at Copenhagen

Obama's Speech Disappoints Copenhagen Delegates

US president offers no further commitment on reducing emissions or on finance to poor countries

By Suzanne Goldenberg and Allegra Stratton

Barack Obama stepped into the chaotic final hours of the Copenhagen summit today saying he was convinced the world could act “boldly and decisively” on climate change. 

But his speech offered no indication America was ready to embrace bold measures, after world leaders had been working desperately against the clock to try to paper over an agreement to prevent two years of wasted effort — and a 10-day meeting — from ending in total collapse. 

Obama, who had been skittish about coming to Copenhagen at all unless it could be cast as a foreign policy success, looked visibly frustrated as he appeared before world leaders. 

He offered no further commitments on reducing emissions or on finance to poor countries beyond Hillary Clinton’s announcement yesterday that America would support a $100bn global fund to help developing nations adapt to climate change. 

He did not even press the Senate to move ahead on climate change legislation, which environmental organisations have been urging for months. 

The president’s speech followed the publication of draft text, obtained by the Guardian this morning, that reveals the enormous progress needed from world leaders in the final hours of the Copenhagen climate change summit to achieve a strong deal. The draft says countries “ought” to limit global warming to 2C, but crucially does not bind them to do so. The text, drafted by a select group of 28 leaders – including UK prime minister, Gordon Brown – in the early hours of this morning, also proposes extending negotiations for another year until the next scheduled UN meeting on climate change in Mexico City in December 2010. 

In his address, Obama did say America would follow through on his administration’s clean energy agenda, and that it would live up to its pledges to the international community. 

“We have charted our course, we have made our commitments, and we will do what we say,” Obama said. 

But in the absence of any evidence of that commitment the words rang hollow and there was a palpable sense of disappointment in the audience.

Read the rest of this story at the Guardian.

Also see: Greenpeace Reaction to Obama’s Speech

18 Responses to Barack Obama's speech disappoints and fuels frustration at Copenhagen

  1. Rob N. Hood December 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    Why so quiet? This is jubilation time for those who believe the evil and powerful OZ, I mean Obama, was going to begin his leftist take-over of the planet! NOW what will you do with your paranoid right-wing beliefs? I will just have to wait and see I guess.

    Oh, and _ “I told you so.” Sorry, but I did…

  2. paul wenum December 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    We don’t gloat. We just get ready to vote in 2010. Very simple.

  3. Rob N. Hood December 20, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    Per usual you’ve evaded my question/point. AND you were able to pat yourself on the back too. Nice. I wonder… maybe you have read Alinsky…!!!!????

  4. Rob N. Hood December 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    Or maybe you aren’t gloating (like I am, about a few things) because you’ve been wrong about Comrade Obama… AND re: the grand power and wizardry of Sir Gore.

    So which is it?

  5. paul wenum December 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    I have read Alinsky, probably many, many years before you. Nice read if you are a socialist.

  6. Rob N. Hood December 24, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Do yu still believe that Obama is as powerful as you thought? Is his latest failure just part of another more insidious long-term plan of some kind….???!! Where are all the end-timers? They are awfully quiet.

  7. paul wenum December 25, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    The people are awakening. Do you them stirring?

  8. Rob N. Hood December 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    No I don’t Paul, that’s why I’m asking where they are… Are they re-evaluating the amount of power they imagained Obama and Gore to have, that these guys may, in fact, not be the anti-christ? That would be refreshing if true. There are plenty of real bad guys out there.

    And don’t forget, everytime you compare me to Alinsky (THE real anti-christ?!) I am VERY flattered. So if you really want to insult me you may want to try something else.

  9. paul wenum December 26, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    2010 is about to arrive . Hope you vote accordingly. Oh, that’s right, you vote, you don’t vote, then you vote? What is it? I will be there, will you???

  10. paul wenum December 26, 2009 at 12:58 am #

    I sense that I hit a nerve??

  11. Rob N. Hood December 27, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    No, just pointing out the irrationality of the right mind-set. I have voted, always, in the past, as I’ve said endless times. But I am now questioning the the efficacy of it. It (voting) merely perpetuates a corrupt and even criminal political system. After many years of voting for the lesser evil, and continually being disappointed or worse by them, there seems to be little alternative. As I’ve posted before, if enough people stop voting, it will demonstrate the feelings of the populous very clearly. This is already occurring. We already have a low voting turn-out. Granted many don’t out of laziness but many out of frustration and the feeling, accurately enough, that voting makes no significant difference! It’s time for a revolution of some kind. Maybe voting cessation is a place to start. Just imagine, the whole world would see it too and our corrupt “public servants” would not have any validity. It would signal a lack of confidence by The People in their government, i.e. political/election process. Hey, if anyone, even you Paul, can think of something better PLEASE say so !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll wait for any and all responses. But please be rational and thoughtful. Don’t waste our time. We are running out of it.

  12. Paul Wenum December 27, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    When was the last time you got out of the house and went door to door for your candidate? When’s the last time that you made a call for he/she? When’s the last time that you personally talked to a candidate other than read what the media says? When was the last time that you did aything but complain AFTER he/she got elected? Numerous times I assume. You are, unfortunately, a normal American I’m afraid. We are all ” to busy on Ipods, cell phones, blackberry’s, internet, satellite TV, reality shows, Survivor ar whatever is on TV.” Tiger Woods is more important than what is going on that affects our lives. Sad but True. No matter, it will take care of itself, “why should I be involved? Nothing changes, the bad/mean corporations did it” It doesn’t change because you and I caused it! Called the “Dumbing down of America.” Suggest that you “Get involved!” Then and only then can you chastise other comments with no regret (You worked for it). With that said, I’m as guilty as you, my friend. Get involved. That’s the only way we will change it. Enough said.

  13. Rob N. Hood January 2, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    I’ve done all that, and it’s got me nothing. Paul you are stuck in the past. You talk like it’s still the 60’s or 70’s.

    “The Object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius

  14. paul wenum January 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    OK, sit back and verbally attack and do nothing due to your understanding that nothing will change. It never will with your inaction/attitude.

  15. Rob N. Hood January 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    IMO, I don’t verbally attack as much as make suggestions and challenge the thinking of rigid people.

  16. paul wenum January 17, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    You don’t challenge or suggest, you chastise beliefs other than yours.

  17. Rob N. Hood January 17, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    That is exactly what you do. I am guilty of it too, yes. Just about everyone on here does too. But that is really all you do. Stop being so hypocritical. It’s like you don’t even know what that means or how it evicerates almost everything you try to say.

  18. paul wenum January 23, 2010 at 6:03 am #

    I’m at least true in be beliefs.

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