"Key safeguards on climate change were sacrificed today in a desperate attempt by world leaders to achieve a compromise at the Copenhagen summit. Gordon Brown and some other leaders prepared to stay overnight as the final stages of the negotiations were prolonged by a dispute between the US and China over remarks made by President Obama. But reports this evening that President Medvedev of Russia had already left the talks while Japan’s Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, was planning to leave later last night heightened the feeling that time was running out for a deal." Ben Webster and Sam Coates report for the London Times Dec. 18, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN -- A diplomatic frenzy enveloped the final scheduled day of the U.N. climate conference Friday, with President Barack Obama twice meeting privately with China's premier as world leaders pressed to salvage a global warming accord amid deep divisions between rich and poor nations.
But neither Obama nor Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered any new commitments to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming as they addressed the conference. And Wen skipped a high-level meeting of major nations, sending an envoy instead. ...
Wen told delegates that China's voluntary targets of reducing its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent will require 'tremendous efforts.' ... 'We will honor our word with real action,' Wen said.
Abandoning any hope of reaching a comprehensive deal, a group of about 25 countries sought agreement on a two-page political statement setting out critical elements, key among them the mobilization of $30 billion in the next three years to help poor countries cope with climate change and a scaling up to $100 billion a year by 2020. ... New drafts of the document, titled the Copenhagen Accord, emerged with key clauses being inserted, deleted and reintroduced with new wording." AP had the story Dec. 18, 2009.
"British officials today were emphatic that they had not been asked to remain in Copenhagen overnight in order to secure a deal at the UN climate talks. As key elements of the deal were knocked steadily from emerging drafts and ambitions for the text dwindled by the hour, Stavros Dimas, the European commissioner for the environment, said the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, had asked leaders to stay on until tomorrow to secure a deal. Dimas said: 'The secretary-general of the United Nations has asked people not to leave tonight.' The delay, he said, was in order to give the leaders the extra time needed to clinch a deal." Allegra Stratton reports for the Guardian Dec. 18, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN -- President Obama exhorted world leaders today "not to talk, but to act" as they scrambled in the closing hours of a historic U.N. global warming summit to salvage an agreement to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
Behind the scenes, dozens of presidents and prime ministers worked on a three-page document that they hope will become the lone outcome of the two-week negotiations here.
But the blame game is also under way with more than 115 heads of state in Copenhagen -- many with years of work and their prestige on the line -- struggling to bridge a divide between the world's rich and poor nations. Several major industrialized countries pointed the finger at China for balking at demands to ensure their emission commitments would be open for public scrutiny." Darren Samuelsohn and Lisa Friedman report for ClimateWire December 18, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN — An update to a draft political agreement, which is being negotiated by a group of 20 or more major players in the negotiations, including the United States, China and others, is circulating among reporters at Copenhagen’s Bella Center. Several changes have been made since an earlier version became available Friday morning" Tom Zeller Jr. reports in Green Inc. for the New York Times December 18, 2009.
"After speeches, meetings, an all-out diplomatic blitz and a nearly one-hour meeting between President Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, U.S. negotiators are reporting slow but measurable progress in their efforts to break a two-week deadlock over the thorny issue of how to make clear that emerging economic powers are committed to limiting their greenhouse gas emissions and willing to accept monitoring of whether those pledges are carried out.
The Americans have split their bargaining team in half, with one team focusing exclusively on China and the other handling meetings with the rest of the delegations gathered here.
An administrative official called Obama and Wen's one-on-one meeting today "constructive" and said the men had instructed their negotiators to meet afterward "to see if an agreement can be reached." Later in the afternoon, Obama met for a second time with a large group of presidents and prime ministers. Wen sent a lower-level Chinese representative to the meeting, as he did during a similar meeting this morning." Jim Tankersley reports for the Los Angeles Times December 18, 2009.
"COPENHAGEN -- President Barack Obama said "time is running out" to salvage a deal to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases at a global summit here, as he and China's Premier Wen Jiabao "made progress" in a private meeting. But President Obama warned that the U.S. is prepared to walk away from the talks empty handed, rather than accept a "hollow victory" in which developing nations refuse to allow their own emissions controls to be monitored." Stephen Power and Guy Chazan report for the Wall St. Journal Dec. 18, 2009.
"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.