Good News For Climate Deal? Obama Shifts Copenhagen Schedule

UPDATE 6:52pm: NWF President & CEO Larry Schweiger just issued a statement on Obama’s schedule change, saying, “By attending the global climate talks in Copenhagen during the heart of the negotiations, President Obama can make the difference between inaction and action, between failure and success.”

The White House has just confirmed what was first reported by the Associated Press:

President Barack Obama on Friday abruptly altered the timing of his upcoming appearance at an international climate summit in Copenhagen, hoping to capitalize on steps by India and China and build a more meaningful political accord, a White House official told The Associated Press.

The move means Obama will be at the summit on Dec. 18, considered a crucial period when more leaders will be in attendance, as opposed to his scheduled stop in Denmark on Wednesday on his way to Nobel Peace Prize events in Oslo.

How significant is the schedule shift? Jeremy Symons, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior vice president, calls Obama’s schedule shift “a strong signal that he will be there personally to try and close a deal.” Wouldn’t that be a great Christmas present for the world?

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Published: December 4, 2009