Obama Offers Climate Change Help 09/23 06:23
President Barack Obama is pledging new U.S. help for other nations
struggling to address global warming, as heads of state from around the world
converge for a major summit on climate change.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is pledging new U.S. help for
other nations struggling to address global warming, as heads of state from
around the world converge for a major summit on climate change.
Obama will use his speech at a U.N. summit Tuesday to announce plans to sign
an executive order requiring the U.S. government to take climate change into
account when it spends money overseas to help poorer countries, the White House
said. The U.S. will also offer vulnerable communities abroad new tools to
address the effects of climate change through science and technology.
The measures join a host of commitments Obama will announce at the summit,
where more than 120 world leaders will gather on the sidelines of the U.N.
General Assembly to galvanize support for a global climate treaty to be
finalized next year in Paris. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the summit's
host, is expecting leaders to come with specific pledges in hand to mitigate
climate change, as a way to show they're serious about ambitious emissions
reductions in the treaty.
Obama's goals at the summit: to convince other nations that the U.S. is
doing its part to curb greenhouse gases, and make the case that other major
polluters should step up, too.
"It's very clear to the international community that the president is
extending considerable political capital at home in order to implement his
climate plan, and that's true," said Nigel Purvis, a U.S. climate negotiator in
the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. "The hope is that when we take
action, others will do so as well."
The White House wouldn't elaborate on the commitments Obama will announce
Tuesday. But his senior counselor and climate adviser, John Podesta, said last
week the U.S. would offer tangible contributions such as American technology to
help poorer communities deal with food security, sea level rise and other
negative effects of climate change.
The one-day climate summit isn't formally part of the ongoing negotiations
toward the climate treaty, which leaders hope will be more muscular than a
lackluster agreement reached in Copenhagen in 2009. The idea is that by
involving heads of state early, rather than leaving it to negotiators until the
very end, prospects will improve for reaching a strong deal.
In another attempt to increase political pressure on leaders to take action,
tens of thousands of activists, including prominent actors and former Vice
President Al Gore, demonstrated in New York on Sunday.