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. It is now early evening in Denmark, and this is supposed to be the last day of the negotiations, but the parties are still hard at work and the outcome is still unknown. So you can imagine the intensity in the hall here.
This was the atmosphere that President Obama encountered when he arrived here this morning. He spoke to the plenary session and he said the protracted negotiations were putting in doubt the world's ability to take collective action. But it needn't be the case. He said the pieces of an accord are already there, based on the principle that embraced common but differentiated responses, taking into account the countries' different capabilities. He said that every person in the hall had the chance to be part of an historic accord which will make our children's lives and grandchildren's lives better.
No matter what the outcome of the negotiation, the President said that the U.S. is committed to continuing the course of reducing our own carbon emissions, our dependence on foreign oil, and continuing to invest in a clean energy economy. That's simply in our national interest as well as in the world's interest. I saw that commitment demonstrated live here at the U.S. Center by all the presentations these past two weeks by Cabinet officials, Under Secretaries, scientists, energy experts, governors, mayors, students and representatives of NGOs, all who made this very, very strong case for everything the United States is doing to address climate change.
I now return to Brussels where I am currently posted, but I leave here really heartened by everything the U.S. is doing and American citizens are doing to address climate change. I thank you for following along with me and I wanted to leave you with some of my favorite images from the last two weeks."