WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama will seek a U.S. emissions reduction target of about 17 percent below 2005 levels in 2020, the White House said Wednesday.
"This provisional target is in line with current legislation in both chambers of Congress and demonstrates a significant contribution to a problem that the U.S. has neglected for too long," the White House said in a statement Wednesday.
Given Obama's goal to reduce emissions 83 percent by 2050, the expected targets in the legislation would mean a 30 percent reduction below 2005 levels in 2025 and a 42 percent reduction below 2005 levels in 2030, the statement said.
Obama will participate in the U.N.-sponsored Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Dec. 9, the White House confirmed Wednesday. His attendance had been in doubt for several weeks.
"With less than two weeks to go until the beginning of the Copenhagen conference, it is essential that the countries of the world, led by the major economies, do what it takes to produce a strong, operational agreement that will both launch us on a concerted effort to combat climate change and serve as a stepping stone to a legally binding treaty," the statement said.
Obama is working with Congress to pass energy and climate legislation quickly, the White House said.
He will be in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.
The U.S. contingent for the climate change conference includes Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley, Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren and Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner.