"COPENHAGEN -- U.N. climate talks are on life support as the Group of 20 nations and other countries plan an emergency meeting tonight, according to a lead Latin American negotiator. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown led the charge for the hastily arranged talks as rich and poor countries continue to remain at odds over the shape of the next international climate agreement. Leaders, absent President Obama, will meet after a dinner tonight with the queen of Denmark. The closed-door talks are sure to spark another round of fighting as the two-week U.N. negotiations reach their end point tomorrow." Darren Samuelsohn and Lisa Friedman report for Greenwire December 17, 2009.
WASHINGTON -- The United States is making progress with China on outstanding issues overshadowing U.N. climate talks but cannot say whether a deal will result after President Barack Obama arrives in Copenhagen, officials said. Obama left Washington later on Thursday and is due to arrive in Denmark around 8:30 a.m. local time on Friday, U.S. officials told reporters on a conference call. He will give a brief address at a plenary session with other world leaders and emphasize the renewed U.S. commitment to show leadership on global warming, but he is not expected to be more specific about Washington's pledge to help provide funding for poor countries dealing with climate change." Jeff Mason reports for Reuters with Caren Bohan Dec. 17.
"LONDON -- European carbon emissions futures fell five percent to a new two-week low on Thursday due to deadlocked U.N. climate talks and warnings by ministers that they could fail, traders said." Reuters had the story Dec. 17, 2009.
COPENHAGEN -- Late today, environmentalists monitoring the climate talks alerted reporters to the existence of a six-page document, dated December 15th, that is a compilation by the United Nations office managing the talks of all the major countries' plans for curbing their emissions, along with a calculation of where that would take the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and eventual temperature of the planet. United Nations officials confirmed the document's authenticity but declined to discuss it. The analysis concluded that without much stronger action to cut emissions both before and after 2020, 'global emissions will remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550 p.p.m. with the related temperature' rising 3 degrees Celsius, or 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. That is far above the thresholds for dangerous warming being debated at the meeting and accepted in recent statements by the major economies of the world." Andrew C. Revkin reports for the New York Times in Dot Earth Dec. 17, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN -- As President Obama prepared to visit the historic climate conference here, there were signs Wednesday of a break in the impasse between rich and developing nations. The United States and Japan agreed to make major contributions to the developing world to keep prospects of a deal alive. And the leader of a bloc of African nations said they would accept a smaller -- though still sizable -- package of financial aid, in return for going along with an agreement." Juliet Eilperin and David A. Fahrenthold report for the Washington Post Dec. 17, 2009.
"China rebuffed efforts to prod it towards major climate concessions today, but nudged closer to meeting US demands that it open its carbon accounts to the world. As talks moved into the final day, China pledged more flexibility on the vexed issue of how its pledges to curb pollution will be internationally verified. The world's biggest carbon emitter also confirmed it wants to set a 2C rise as the maximum temperature target. But it accused developed nations of failing to set sufficiently ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gases." Jonathan Watts reports for the UK Guardian Dec. 17, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN -- Developing countries have formed a powerful interest bloc in climate talks over the years, fighting collectively for the rights of poor nations. That's starting to fall apart. Like any diverse set of countries, the G-77 -- which is actually a grouping of about 130 nations -- juggles competing interests. Some, like Mali, are among the poorest countries on Earth. Others, like China, enjoy annual average growth rates of more than 9 percent. Oil interests compete with agriculture needs; fears of sea level rise compete with the need for fast money to help avert crop disasters. All of them, though, suffer from vast poverty, and most are among the most vulnerable to climate change." Lisa Friedman reports for ClimateWire Dec. 17, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN -- Leaders of poor countries today said they were pleased about but distrustful of the United States' announcement that it will contribute to $100 billion in annual international funding to help the most vulnerable countries cope with climate change. From Senegal to Burkina Faso, top officials told E&E that the money is a step in the right direction, but not enough. Many noted that wealthy countries have a history of not living up to pledges. And, they insisted, emissions pledges remain weak." Lisa Friedman reports for Greenwire Dec. 17, 2009.
"WASHINGTON -- An 'empty' U.N. climate deal would be worse than no deal at all, the White House said on Thursday as President Barack Obama prepared to fly to Copenhagen to help secure a global warming agreement." Jeff Mason reports for Reuters Dec. 17, 2009.