The White House will announce soon whether President Barack Obama will make an appearance at the Copenhagen climate summit in December.
The administration also expects to be able to announce a target for US emissions reductions before the meeting. The figure will likely fall somewhere between the targets set by the House climate bill (which mandates a 17 percent reduction below 2005 levels by 2020) and the Senate measure (which calls for a 20 percent reduction over the same time period.)
Whether Obama shows up at the summit or not, the administration is working hard to convince observers that his administration has already made significant progress on the climate front, despite Congress’ failure to enact legislation before the international talks begin. “We have done more than anyone could have ever expected us to do in a relatively short time frame,” a senior administration official told reporters on Monday. “[Obama’s] turning around an ocean liner and he has done an extraordinary amount to turn that ocean liner around.”