Watch events live from the U.S. Center in Copenhagen. Follow the U.S. Center on YouTube and Flickr.About the Author: Susan Elbow serves at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. She is currently on assignment at the U.S. Center in Copenhagen."This is Susan Elbow with the State Department at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Today, I'm standing in one of the large plenary halls, where all of the formal parts of the conference take place. It is exactly in a room like this one, only much, much larger, where President Obama will address the conference tomorrow.
For those of us who work for the State Department, today was particularly exciting because our boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the wee hours of the morning. She landed in a cold and snowy Denmark and has had a pretty full schedule since then. She has been meeting with her counterparts, other foreign ministers, and she gave a press conference to a packed house. The Secretary said that it is an undeniable and unforgiving fact that climate change threatens our security and our economy as well as the environment. She acknowledged that the talks have been difficult and she urged the parties to the conference to reach to find common ground and take an historic step. Toward that end she announced that the United States was prepared to work together with other countries to jointly mobilize 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to help developing countries address the effects of climate change. As I was walking out of the press conference, I overheard a journalist phoning in the headline 'U.S. attempts to rescue climate negotiations from the brink of failure.'
We're so often portrayed as the villain, it was really heartening to hear someone perceiving our actions as positive. It is no secret that the secretary is a rock-star around the world, and so pictures from the press conference immediately showed up on the front pages of websites and other media outlets. Tomorrow President Obama addresses the conference in what I've been told will be the most watched session ever. And tomorrow is also the last day of the conference, so check in with me one more time as I tell you about reactions to the President's presentation and to the final outcome of the conference."