U.S. President Obama at Summit Trying for Climate Deal

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 18 (UPI) — U.S. President Obama arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the final day of the climate change summit, meeting with other heads of state trying to broker a deal.

Obama and at least 20 other world leaders met Friday to try to end the stalemate in the climate negotiations, CNN reported.

“We have had good, constructive discussions tonight. We hope to be able to reach a political umbrella agreement,” Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said after the meeting. Sweden holds the revolving European Union presidency.

White House officials said Obama was hoping to reach a non-binding agreement that would lead to a treaty later.

Obama was to meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao of China to try to urge China to allow independent verification of its emission reduction program. Chinese leaders earlier said the country’s laws would suffice and outside verification was not needed.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday China “cannot consider that the transparency of efforts of all in any way undermines the sovereignty of each of us.”

China balks on the issue of transparency — proving a commitment to cut emissions — leading to a breakdown in negotiations Wednesday, U.S. and Chinese officials said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said later countries committed to pursuing an agreement that has standards, including transparency, and hinted a refusal to agree to be transparent could be a deal-breaker.

Clinton also announced the United States would work with other countries to raise $100 billion by 2020 to address needs of developing countries to address climate change. She said the United States already is working with others to provide immediate funding that would reach $10 billion by 2012.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged leaders Thursday to agree on limiting long-term temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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