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WWF Response to President Obama's Speech Before United Nations

WASHINGTON, DC, September 22, 2009 – World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement today from Keya Chatterjee, acting director of WWF’s climate program:

“We welcome the clear statement from President Obama about the urgency of climate change and the promise that the US will do its part, by providing funding for adaptation and mitigation. We're encouraged by his statement that Copenhagen must be a significant step forward and we look forward to seeing the US positions on emissions reductions and support for developing countries become firmed up in the days ahead.

“However, the speech as a whole represents a missed opportunity for the US to take a leadership role and signal to the rest of the world that it is serious about tackling the threat of climate change. While other countries announced specific targets and timetables, including China, Japan and the Maldives, President Obama did not address these critical elements. It was also disappointing that he did not reaffirm his previous call for action on climate financing at the upcoming G-20 Summit.

“The failure of the Senate to pass meaningful climate and energy legislation is hampering the President’s ability to make substantive commitments to the global community. With the Copenhagen summit convening in just 10 weeks, the Senate has a narrow window of opportunity for salvaging the reputation of the US abroad.”