U.S. President Barack Obama urged a climate deal in Copenhagen on Friday, but offered no new targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the world's second biggest carbon emitter.
Some 193 countries and more than 120 world leaders met in the Danish capital on the final day of Dec. 7-18 talks to try and agree a global climate deal. Following are responses to Obama's speech.
• Alden Meyer, Director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists "I think the speech may have been calibrated not to put some things on the table at this point, because of the hard-ball negotiations going on, the state of play he was flying into. I know they were considering some additional elements which weren't forthcoming."
"We're hopeful that the (subsequent China-U.S.) bilateral may have cleared some of the air and laid the groundwork for agreement on some of the issues. If China and the United States see more eye to eye on some of the flashpoint issues that has to be helpful."
• David Waskow, spokesperson for Oxfam International "Obama's speech showed that a deal still hangs in the balance. Recognizing the impacts for those on the front lines of climate change has put President Obama on the front lines of the negotiations. What's on the table still has large gaps and unanswered questions. The United States must get more specific to make a real deal possible."
• Greenpeace U.S. executive director Phil Radford "President Obama can still save Copenhagen by doing what he called on other leaders to do and give some ground by increasing his commitment to cut global warming pollution. But as it is he crossed an ocean to tell the world he has nothing new to offer, then he said take it or leave it."
• Tearfund's Director of Advocacy Paul Cook "He completely contradicted himself - the U.S. actions in terms of figures for action on mitigation and finance, even after yesterday's ($100-billion climate aid) announcement, just don't stack up or equal survival for poor people and the planet. There were no new pledges on targets and a complete failure to acknowledge the fact that the richest and most powerful nations must take responsibility for the climate crisis that they have caused.
• WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts "He has put an emissions target on the table and pledged his commitment to long-term climate financing - both critical pieces of a final deal. But that's not enough to knit together the world community at this pivotal hour. The only way the world can be sure the US is standing behind its commitments is for the president to clearly state that climate change will be his next top legislative priority.
• Tom Sharman, ActionAid climate justice coordinator "Obama has said nothing to save the Copenhagen conference from failure. The US is the one major player yet to move. Developing countries have come here to negotiate in good faith, but feel they have been cheated and it looks like they will leave empty handed."
• Friends of the Earth U.S. President Erich Pica - "President Obama's rhetoric is empty. The U.S. has failed to significantly improve upon the weak position it brought to these talks. This speech appears to be more of a face-saving exercise for President Obama than an attempt to unite countries around a truly planet-saving agreement.
"The United States came to these negotiations with a weak position, and it now appears to be attempting to take the rest of the world down to our level. It simply must do better."Report Typo/Error