Shake Up in Copenhagen

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lars Loekke Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, steps up to become president of the climate conference in Copenhagen today.

Meanwhile, Danish police say more than 200 protesters in Copenhagen are trying to disrupt a proposed forest preservation plan.

The Associated Press reports the demonstrators say they want to take over the United Nations summit and turn it into a "people's assembly." Police have detained many of them and are using tear gas and batons to disperse the crowds. None of the activists have been able to break into the conference center.

The New York Times reports environmental groups have long advocated such a compensation program because forests are efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide, and the primary heat-trapping gas linked to global warming.

The plan will be debated in the final days of the 193-nation conference, as major world leaders, including President Barack Obama, begin to arrive. President Obama is expected to arrive Friday. In addition to the proposed forest preservation plan, the leaders will discuss greenhouse gas emissions targets, monitoring gas emissions and doling out financial aid to developing countries.

Up until today Connie Hedegaard had been the president of the conference. Hedegaard said she was happy to turn over the reigns to Loekke Rasmussen due to the high number of world leaders arriving.

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