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Obama to Appear on Climate Summit Closing Day

President Barack Obama upped the ante on his appearance at the Copenhagen Climate Summit Friday, switching his travel plans to appear on the final day of the summit, Dec. 18, instead of Dec. 9 on his way to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

A White House official told the Associated Press the president is hoping recent statements by India and China setting emissions reductions goals will open up space for a more meaningful political accord from the summit. The possibility that the summit would end with a legally binding agreement, however, has already been downplayed by several world leaders, including President Obama.

A White House press release on the announcement also said the president has concluded from talks with European leaders and Australia’s prime minister this week that there is emerging consensus around mobilizing “$10 billion a year by 2012 to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries,” one of the key issues that will be taken up at Copenhagen. The money would help poorer countries adapt to the consequences of climate change, such as droughts or natural disasters, as well as contribute to climate change mitigation efforts.

“The United States will pay its fair share of that amount and other countries will make substantial commitments as well,” the statement said.

The president was originally planning to appear during the first week of the summit, but will now be present at the close of the second week, when the heavy negotiations take place.

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