President Barack Obama will commit the U.S. to a goal of substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade when he travels to Copenhagen for the climate conference on Dec. 9.
Obama is expected to lay out his goals for reducing the U.S.' carbon dioxide emissions by about 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. That target reflects climate legislation still pending on Capitol Hill. A House-passed bill would slash heat-trapping pollution by 17%. A Senate bill seeks a 20% reduction, but that number is likely to come down to win the votes of moderate Democrats.
Obama's commitment would reverse long-standing U.S. opposition to mandatory emission cuts during eight years of the Bush administration.
In addition to Obama, the U.S. delegation will include Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, as well as Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency.