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Copenhagen's Finale: Obama Speaks, Pessimism Abounds and a Hint of a Deal

On the final day of the two-week international climate talks in Copenhagen all eyes -- and ears -- were on President Obama. And his words, while thickly draped with urgency, did not garner the kind of reaction perhaps he was looking for.

Not quite indifference. Instead, Obama's speech fell more in the disappointment arena. Some attacked the lack of details, or the lack of new targets. Others simply thought it fell short.

Perhaps, it was the buildup, the tension or the fact that Copenhagen has not produced the results folks had hoped for. Here's what Obama did say (text of his speech).

He talked up the job creation, innovation benefits.

"We are convinced, as some of you may be convinced, that changing the way we produce and use energy is essential to America's economic future -- that it will create millions of new jobs, power new industries, keep us competitive and spark new innovation."
And he stressed the U.S. was going to act.
"American is going to continue on this course of action to mitigate our emissions and to move towards a clean energy economy, no matter what happens here in Copenhagen."
The speech is important. But far more pressing and crucial are the behind-the-scene negotiations. Obama reportedly ripped up his schedule to dive into a meeting with 20 other world leaders, according to the AP.

So, what happens now? Could there be a hint of a deal? The U.N. has reportedly asked world leaders including Obama to stay longer to continue the meetings.

Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jaibao did meet one-on-one for about 55 minutes and people familiar with the talks said progress was made. And according to Mother Jones magazine, Obama is expected to hold a second meeting with Wen. The White House later confirmed this report.

The negotiations continue and people are still talking. We'll have a final wrap-up of COP15, when everything wraps up.

And now, onto the links: A peak at the draft agreement (Grist) The latest leaked draft is here.

Finding importance in an acronym (Green Inc.) What is an MRV? How about LULUCF? These hefty acronyms offer a jargony gloss to what it all means for the world's forests.

Blame capitalism for climate change (UPI) Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pointed to capitalism for encouraging bad carbon-sucking behavior. Bad, capitalists. Bad.

Smart gridders go to Copenhagen (Earth2Tech) eMeter's chief regulatory officer meets with U.S. congressional delagates to talk up the smart grid, job growth and keeping the U.S. ahead of China.

Don't forget the oil producers, please (France 24) Saudi Arabia's oil minister calls for any resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to include measures that "reduce the effects" on oil producers. Although, he added, the oil exporting country was not against reducing carbon emissions.

Is a weak deal better than no deal? (Grist) Reporter Amanda Little sips wine, samples some canapes and gets some answers about Copenhagen from Congressman Edward Markey and climate guru Al Gore.

Progress at last? (Los Angeles Times) It's the talk we've all been waiting for. President Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, leaders of the two largest greenhouse gas emitting countries in the world, reportedly make progress in an intense 55-minute talk on the last day of the U.N. climate summit.

How much CO2 is emitted during the climate talks? (Scientific American) This 60-second Earth podcast runs through the numbers.

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