President-elect Obama promises “new chapter” on climate change

More than 600 climate change leaders from across the country and around the world convened in Los Angeles today for the opening sessions of the Global Climate Summit, a 2-day event arranged by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to break gridlock on the issue ahead of next month's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.

In a short video addressed to the Summit's attendees, President-elect Obama emphasized his enthusiasm for the Poznan Conference and promised that his administration would mark a "new chapter in American leadership on climate change."

"Few challenges facing America -- and the world -- are more urgent than combating climate change," he said. "Many of you are working to confront this challenge....but too often, Washington has failed to show the same kind of leadership. That will change when I take office."

President-elect Obama is committed to engaging vigorously with the international community to find solutions and help lead the world toward a new era of global cooperation on climate change.

"Let me also say a special word to the delegates from around the world who will gather in Poland next month: your work is vital to the planet," he said. "While I won’t be President at the time of your meeting and while the United States has only one President at a time, I’ve asked Members of Congress who are attending the conference as observers to report back to me on what they learn there."

Watch the full video of Barack's remarks below, or visit the Global Climate Summit home page to learn more.

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High-resolution, Quicktime format (106 MB .mov file) available here.

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