Copenhagen Roundup Dec. 13, 2009

Demonstrators make their views heard in Copenhagen, where climate talks are being held. (Attila Kisbenedek / AFP/Getty Images / December 11, 2009)

President Barack Obama

We’re gathering …but it all comes down to President Obama and what he can deliver and can’t. The Congressional political reality that President Obama faces extends far beyond Climategate, although the scandal provides ammunition for anti-climate change legislation folks seeking cover.

My instincts say that some members of Congress will be honest about climate change, saying “not this year”. Politicians are putting the jobs of their constituents first, with a stated obligation to protect the still employed. And the Democrats are fearful of losing their fragile hold on the Senate in the 2010 elections. If they lose control, President Obama has an even bigger mess on his hands.

For starters: What’s Rotten for Obama in Denmark NYTimes

Big Business

We follow up on Friday’s conversation about big business at Copenhagen. The LATimes reports that “an army of chief executives”  has arrived in Copenhagen, making it the largest contingent participating in the conference.

An army of chief executives attending the international climate talks in Copenhagen urge government officials to curb emissions and unleash a new wave of so-called clean energy investment. Coca Cola is hosting today a business roundtable with the World Wildlife Fund.

The big-business side to the talks has angered some climate activists, who decry “green capitalism” and call for massive wealth transfers from the richest nations to developing countries struggling to cope with climate change. One speech Friday at Klimaforum09, a parallel gathering of environmentalists, was titled “Global Warming: the Capitalist Catastrophe and the Eco-Socialist Alternative.” via LA Times

In an interesting footnote to businesses conversations about global warming with US Commerce Secretary, American companies made it clear that not only do their believe in global warming but being multinationals, they’re bound to meet the needs of the vast numbers of other countries supporting legislation and funding around climate change.

At a time when America doesn’t want to lose more jobs to climate change legislation, business reminds us that the new jobs being created  will emerge in those countries that support the environmental initiatives. Simply stated, big business is now bound by a wide-range of global politics and forward initiatives, opportunities and challenges that transcend American politics. See Businesspeople join the ranks of climate treaty proponents LA Times


Read about CARE’s proposal to write formal language into Copenhagen treaty language that protects women’s rights and involvement in the implementation of Copenhagen’s final outcome. Will Women Have a Defined Voice in a Copenhagen Climate Treaty? Cultural Creatives