Obama Challenges China: We Need Emission Monitors
President addresses Copenhagen summit, urges action
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2009 6:59 AM CST
President Barack Obama speaks at the morning plenary session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – President Obama took direct aim this morning at China's resistance to climate change monitoring, saying any deal that emerged from Copenhagen "would be empty words on a page" without such measures. They “need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty,” said Obama. The issue's been a sticking point for China, whose premier snubbed Obama today by sending an underling to a meeting attended by the US president and other world leaders, reports the New York Times.

“We are running short on time,” Obama said in his eight-minute speech urging both developed and developing nations to accept the climate change agreement. “We must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and to exchange this information in a transparent manner.” Though China has promised to reduce emissions by 40-45% by 2020, Chinese leaders say outside verification measures undermine national sovereignty.