Highlight of the Week: Obama Bumps Up Copenhagen Slate as EPA Rules on Carbon

The president is changing his travel plans.

President Obama will now head to the international climate summit in Copenhagen during the critical closing days of the summit, rather than at the outset, spurred by strong support for climate action and an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that officially designates carbon pollution as a public hazard.

"[T]he President believes that continued U.S. leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18th rather than on December 9th," according to a statement from the Office of the Press Secretary. "[T]his decision reflects the President's commitment to doing all that he can to pursue a positive outcome."

"I applaud President Obama's continued leadership to protect our children's future from the urgent threat of climate change,"said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation. "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." 

President Obama had already unveiled 2020 greenhouse gas reductions targets for the U.S., paving the way for a broader international dialogue on climate change mitigation. His decision to move back his appearance greatly improves chances of an international climate agreement.

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Published: December 10, 2009