Photo via Neurope
Obama told the European Union that the US is now ready to take a leading role in tackling climate change. According to Reuters, Obama pledged US support in drafting a global pact to replace the Kyoto protocol when world leaders meet to participate in climate talks in Copenhagen this December. From Reuters:
I pledge to you that in this global effort, the United States is now ready to lead," Obama said to cheers from a crowd of tens of thousands outside the medieval Prague Castle.
Somewhat ironically, Obama gave his most assertive speech on climate change in a country whose president, Vaclav Klaus, is one of the world's most renowned global warming deniers. But that evidently did little to dampen the restrained enthusiasm of onlookers and EU dignitaries.
In addition to the pledge, Obama has invited 16 countries to a series of meetings designed to pave the way to an international climate treaty.
And the consensus from the EU? Better, but not quite there yet. Top members said they welcome the new administration's openness to addressing the issue of climate change, as opposed to a certain other US president in recent memory.
Jose Manuel Barroso, the head of the EU's executive, the European Commission, said the United States and Europe had at least come closer to agreeing on the subject.
Many in the EU feel that the climate legislation introduced by the Democrats last week—which is downright progressive by stateside standards--wasn't quite aggressive enough.
"We welcome the steps taken by the new American administration and the increasing convergence between the European and U.S. position on that matter," [Barroso] told reporters after the summit in Prague, but added there was further to go. "The statements made by President Obama are much clearer and more ambitious ... Let's build on this."
More on Obama and Climate Change
Obama Says Climate Change Is Real, Will Hire Gore
Obama v. Bush: Climate Change Reversals and a National Energy
The TH Interview: Andy Revkin— Climate in the Obama Age