Top Politicos Arriving at Climate Summit

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Leaders and lawmakers from around the globe began arriving in Copenhagen, Denmark, to attend the final days of the U.N.-sponsored climate change summit.

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., co-author of climate change legislation pending in the upper chamber, was the first high-level U.S. politician to attend the talks, The Boston Globe reported. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to meet with negotiators Thursday and President Barack Obama was scheduled to arrive and speak on Friday.

Before leaving, Kerry told the Globe he may agree with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that a deal may be struck over one of the most contentious issues facing climate change negotiators: long-term financing for developing nations to help them adapt to global warming and move to more eco-friendly technologies.

The “makings of a deal” existed at the summit, Kerry said, adding, “today (Wednesday) is going to be quite critical.”

Kerry said he wanted to assure world negotiators that the United States was serious about reducing its emission output.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who arrived at the conference Tuesday, said the gravity of the talks couldn’t be overstated, The Times of London reported.

“It is an uphill struggle, there is a huge amount to be done” in negotiating a climate change treaty, he said.

If a deal can be stuck that results in jobs in Britain, it would be worth the effort, Brown said.

“But I also think our children, growing up, going to school every day, I don’t want them to live in a world of floods, of droughts, of extreme weather,” he said. “It is really important; therefore, for Britain that we get this deal … .”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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