Will Steger Foundation Expedition Copenhagen 2009

The Expedition Copenhagen team consists of Midwest youth who will travel to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 5-19, 2009. The expedition will be led in part by internationally renowned polar explorer Will Steger, and designed in collaboration with youth climate partners across the region.

Back Room Talks Give Hope for Agreement in Copenhagen

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 by Liana.B.Baker |

From Canadian Geographic: The first time political scientist Michele Betsill attended a major U.N. climate summit was in Kyoto in 1997. She remembers the negotiators had a lot of down time, since it happened before cell phones and laptops went mainstream. Since then, Betsill, a keen climate talk analyst and Colorado State professor, has attended almost every subsequent conference and says she has seen the earlier, more modest events swirl into a media frenzy. Making headlines today is the sudden shift in attitude sparked by abrupt changes to U.S. President Barack Obama’s Scandinavian itinerary. Obama had intended to show up during the first few days of negotiations on his way to pick up his Nobel prize — which appeared to a well-calculated political move because it would have showed that the U.S. supports an agreement, but would distance it from any failures at the conference, says Betsill. Instead he's decided to appear later in the week, which indicates progress may have been made behind closed doors. "Changes to Obama's plans indicate that he expects a political agreement and suggest there has been developments behind the scenes in bilateral talks between the U.S. and China." The change surprised many political scientists and negotiators who had been pessimistic for months about an agreement being reached in Copenhagen. "Certainly its changed the tune of academics who watch these things and the same goes for some of the negotiators," Betsill says. Check back soon for more reports from Copenhagen. Liana B. Baker, a former intern with the magazine, is a Canadian Geographic climate policy correspondent in Copenhagen
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