The Roller Coaster Ride That Pressured President Obama to Copenhagen

November 25, 2009 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

Today President Obama announced he will be attending the Copenhagen Climate Negotiations!

This is a huge victory for the youth climate movement!  Another large victory that happened today as well was the Obama administration agreed to hosting a webcasted address and meeting for young leaders in the movement next Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 4pm – 7pm! Senior-level White House officials will meet in Washington DC with leaders from our movement in it’s first-ever Youth Clean Energy Forum to discuss moving forward to a bold, clean and just energy future.

We should all take two minutes this holiday weekend to call and thank him: 202-456-1111

With that said, this victory did not come easy and it’s only the beginning.

While President Obama is showing International leadership, we also cannot forget about keeping pressure on our Senators. We need to encourage our senators to follow president Obama’s lead by passing strong climate legislation.

The past week and half has been a roller coaster of climate announcements. Several recent events have accumulated to build the much needed pressure on President Obama.

The roller coaster started a little more than a week ago, as President Obama visited China giving an announcement that seemed to only stall the ride before it had even started. President Obama announced that Copenhagen would instead be a political binding agreement as opposed to a much needed legally binding agreement. SEN’s previous post of “Hey Obama! Let’s Win the Tip Off!” discuses this issue further.

This announcement was a low blow to the environmental movement; however, it added fuel to the our fire.

The grassroots responded with over 50,000 young people telling President Obama : “Its Game Time!”.

The youth of America are ready to tackle the climate coaster no matter how big it is. We have had enough of our current dirty coal and radioactive nuclear energy system. Instead we are urging legislators and President Obama to lead the United States and the world into the clean energy future. This future would be made up of clean renewable energy built with millions of green jobs, it would eliminate dirty money within our political system, and it would allow the United States to reengage as a leader among the international community.

With 2010 elections on the way the youth can no longer be ignored, the White House and congress is beginning to realize the true power of the youth voting bloc and if for some reason they are still not listening, they had better start.

Several International leaders came out to announce their attendance, showing the importance of the negotiations.

President Obama had begun to feel the pressure internationally as well, as more and more international leaders committed to attend Copenhagen.  Politically speaking, it was a smart move for President Obama to sit down in the front seat of the climate coaster. Below are a few International leaders and US leaders who will join President Obama for a ride on the climate coaster to Copenhagen.

·         French President Nicolas Sarkozy                                                                              ·         British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
·         German Chancellor Angela Merkel                                                                             ·         Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva
·         Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono                                            ·         Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
·         U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar                                                                            ·         U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
·         U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke                                                                       ·         U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu
·         U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson    ·         U.S.  Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley
·         U.S. Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner.

The scientific community had also come out with a new report showing just how crucial fighting climate change really is.

As climate activists with all the messaging and talking points we surround ourselves with, I feel we sometimes forget where it all comes from, science and scientific studies. The science has never been a loop, only an accurate out of control spiral of global climate patterns.  Recently Scientist released a new report.  This report put together by the Global Carbon Project and published in the journal Nature Geoscience stated, “Emissions rose by 29% between 2000 and 2008.” The timing of this report was critical, the unfortunate doom and gloom report had only increased the importance of strong legally binding agreements at Copenhagen.

The pressure puts us back on track!

The climate coaster seemed to regain traction as President Obamas announced his attendance. Whitehouse officials have also announced that the United States would set reduction targets at Copenhagen. This is great news, this shows President Obama and The United States are feeling the pressure from the grassroots, International, and scientific communities.

Now, to stay on track!

With the reduction targets likely to be set based off of current legislation passed in the house and waiting to be passed in the senate (17%-20% below 2005 levels) the grassroots voice needs to be louder than ever. Although It is great Obama will be attending we need to make sure these reductions are strong. The United States should look towards basing their reduction targets off of 1990 levels much like the rest of the international community.  We need to keep the pressure on President Obama and The United State Congress. Below are four easy ways you can take action NOW!

1.       Call the Presidents Obama’s office (202-456-1111) thank him and then urge him to set reduction targets based on 1990 levels.

2.       Tell President Obama Its Game Time!

3.       Take the Consequences Challenge!

4. If you’d like Energy Action Coalition to ask a question at the meeting on your behalf, just send us a tweet@powershift09 and add the hashtag #ClimateQs. <>


Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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