November 22, 2009

US and China agree to encourage climate change accord in Copenhagen

As part of his first state tour of Asia, United States President Barack Obama visited China, where he met on Tuesday, November 17 with President Hu Jintao and discussed goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Obama: The United States and China are the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases that is causing the planet to warm.

Obama: Between myself and President Hu, the United States and China can show leadership. Because I will tell you, other countries around the world will be waiting for us. They will watch to see what we do. And if they say, ah, you know, the United States and China, they're not serious about this, then they won't be serious either. That is the burden of leadership that both of our countries now carry.

And my hope is, is that the more discussion and dialogue that we have, the more we are able to show this leadership to the world on these many critical issues. Obama: Truly, this is a nation that encompasses both a rich history and a belief in the promise of the future.

The two leaders concurred on their commitment to a comprehensive plan at the December United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen. Both presidents also agreed on a settlement in Denmark that would require set emission goals for industrialized nations along with assistance for developing countries in adapting to climate change.

President Obama stated, “Our aim… in support of what Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark is trying to achieve, is not a partial accord or a political declaration, but rather an accord that covers all of the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect.” Their two heads of state also signed
cooperative agreements in low-carbon technology and spoke of other matters such as trade, Tibet, human rights and Iran.

President Hu later described their discussions as "candid, constructive and very fruitful." On Wednesday, the last day of his visit, President Obama went to the legendary Great Wall, where he reflected on his admiration for the Chinese civilization and the ancient history of the people.

Our respectful accolades, Your Excellencies, on your cordial meeting and shared commitment toward an effective plan to halt climate change. Wishing your countries flourishing relations as all world leaders come together in making wise and compassionate decisions to save our planet.¸

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