The White House has announced that President Barack Obama will participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) in Copenhagen, Denmark on Wednesday, December 9th, before accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. He will commit the United States to achieving greenhouse gas reductions of “in the range of 17% below 2005 levels in 2020,” essentially a return to 1990 levels of emissions.
The U.S. delegation will include a large number of Cabinet-level (in the language of international diplomacy, “ministerial level”) officials. U.S. delegates “will keynote a series of events highlighting actions by the Obama Administration to provide domestic and global leadership in the transition to a clean energy economy.” The following keynote events and speakers are currently scheduled:
— Wednesday, December 9th: Taking Action at Home, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
— Thursday, December 10th: New Energy Future: the role of public lands in clean energy production and carbon capture, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
— Friday, December 11th: Clean Energy Jobs in a Global Marketplace, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke
— Monday, December 14th: Leading in Energy Efficiency and Renewables, Energy Secretary Steven Chu
— Tuesday, December 15th: Clean Energy Investments: creating opportunities for rural economies, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
— Thursday, December 17th: Backing Up International Agreement with Domestic Action, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Assistant to the President Carol Browner
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose envoy Todd Stern is in charge of U.S. climate negotiations, was not part of the announcements.