Skip to content

Obama Administration Managing Expectations of Climate Change Summit

Later this year, the Obama Administration will be attending a climate change summit in Paris.  The Administration is hopeful of coming out of the summit with an international pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  But, they are being careful not to have a repeat of the last summit, held in Copenhagen in 2009.

Negotiations failed at the Copenhagen summit despite attempts by Obama to intervene.  The result was a three page past that didn’t bind countries to anything and that most criticized as “weak” and “watered down.”

Tony Stern, the State Department’s liaison to the summit is working diligently to make sure that Paris does not turn into a repeat of Copenhagen.  “You have to strike a balance. You’ve got to balance not going too high and not going too low. You’ve got to build momentum. You’ve got to have people invested in the imperative of getting an agreement done in Paris,” he told POLITICO. “But you don’t want to deflate the will of countries to get something strong done.”