News Videos: Top News & Daily Political News Videos // Current
COPENHAGEN – A diplomatic frenzy enveloped the final day of the U.N. climate conference Friday, with President Barack Obama meeting privately with China’s premier as world leaders pressed to salvage a global warming accord amid deep divisions between rich and poor nations.
But neither Obama nor Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered any new commitments to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming as they addressed the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen. And Wen skipped a high-level meeting of 20 nations, sending an envoy instead.
« We are ready to get this done today but there has to be movement on all sides to recognize that is better for us to act rather than talk, » Obama said, insisting on a transparent way to monitor each nation’s pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Wen told delegates that China’s voluntary targets of reducing its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent will require « tremendous efforts. »
« We will honor our word with real action, » Wen said.
With the climate talks in disarray, Obama and Wen met for nearly an hour, and by Friday afternoon had taken some steps toward an agreement, senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, other leaders were working on a potential deal with greenhouse gas emission cuts that could work, said U.N. Environment Program Director Achim Steiner.
Diplomats and leaders had only a handful of hours left for high-level talks to find the « miracle » answer that the Brazilian president said was needed for over 110 leaders to sign a deal at the conference’s finale. Frustration and discouragement outweighed hope in the addresses by world leaders to the conference Friday.
« It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, » Steiner said. He told The AP the chance of a meaningful deal was now better than 50-50, but the talks were « in crisis mode » and weary negotiators could still scuttle an accord with one or two outbursts.
« (But) a deal is on the table, it is doable, » Steiner said.
Many delegates had been looking toward China and the U.S. — the world’s two largest carbon polluters — to deepen their pledges to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. But that was not to be.
China has been criticized at the two-week offering stronger carbon emissions targets and for resisting international monitoring of its actions. After a morning meeting with 20 leaders, including Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said progress in the climate talks was being held back by China.