President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen on December 9 to participate in the United Nations climate conference. He will call for a U.S. emission-reduction target of 17 percent below 2005 levels in 2020 and ultimately in line with final U.S. energy and climate legislation.

In response, Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute, said, “President Obama’s willingness to go to Copenhagen and put numbers on the table are two necessary pieces to make a binding global agreement possible. The 17 percent number is consistent with what Congress has been debating and we hope legislation eventually reaches an even higher target. The President’s leadership in Copenhagen will have an even greater impact if he is able to give the world a timetable for when he expects a bill on his desk.

“We now look forward to the U.S. positions on the final two core elements for building an international agreement: the right architecture and the right funding mechanisms.”

WRI will send 30 people to the Copenhagen conference. For details on how to reach them, please contact Paul Mackie, WRI director of media relations, at +1(202) 729-7684 or For much more information on the upcoming climate talks, visit the Countdown to Copenhagen page on WRI’s Web site.