Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Copenhagen with an important message and a surprise offer. Looking a bit tired at her speech, she was nevertheless very well spoken. She re-emphasized the prior US commitments to reductions until 2050, making a point of the increasing reductions in 2025 and 2030. She also asserted that the US was ready, willing, and able to make and enter a new agreement, but sounded a note of pessimism. Although she said Barack Obama prepares to attend the conference, her hesitation fueled speculation that Obama will not come at all.
Most importantly, Clinton indicated that IF a transparent agreement with verified reductions from all large economies (read China and India) were made, the US would work with other countries to create a 100 billion dollar a year fund for adaptation and mitigation for the least developed countries. Certainly an impressive figure. This large figure to me indicates that the money could only come from a carbon trading tax of some sort, and this is consistent with the developed countries messages.
Attitudes overall have been negative here, however. Austalia’s prime minister and Germnay’s Angela Merkel seemed resigned to not reaching an agreement. Stay tuned.