Obama announcement adds to Copenhagen momentum

Published: 26th November 2009

Washington, DC – International development organization Oxfam praised today’s announcement that President Obama will attend the United Nations conference on climate change in Copenhagen next month. Oxfam America’s president, Raymond C. Offenheiser made the following statement in reaction.
“For months, President Obama stated his personal commitment to tackling climate change at the global level. Today, he signalled that he’s ready to roll up his sleeves to make a climate change deal happen.
“All eyes have been on the US to see whether it will shift decisively to become a global leader in the fight against climate change.  But concrete offers from the US have been missing, and Congressional legislation has been slow to get to the finish line.
“Today’s announcement flies in the face of predictions of failure in Copenhagen well before the conference even begins. Oxfam and other groups have urged President Obama to join negotiators and more than 60 heads of state in Copenhagen. President Obama’s personal appearance and commitment to action can bring the necessary momentum to deliver a deal.
"Hard-hit communities on the front lines of climate change need President Obama on the front lines of the negotiations.  The President should head to Copenhagen with ambitious goals to cut emissions here at home, along with a robust finance package to help poor communities cope with the serious impacts of climate change. The US proposal for a new global climate fund marks a potentially helpful step, and President Obama should move quickly to back it up with a commitment of substantial long-term funding."

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Today’s announcement flies in the face of predictions of failure in Copenhagen well before the conference even begins
Raymond C. Offenheiser
Oxfam America’s president