Obama "has disappointed the whole world."
Barack Obama addressed the United Nations climate change conference this morning, in the most highly anticipated speech of the conference.
And it changed nothing.
Like anything Barack Obama does, there are high expectations. His speech at the negotiations to many civil society members watching in the NGO convergence space several kilometres away from the conference centre, was disappointing.
His speech concluded to the resounding sounds of boos from the NGO members, who had gathered in the new convergence space downtown after being decisively barred from entering the conference space due to security reasons and lack of space.
According to a report from the Guardian, "there was a palpable sense of disappointment in the audience."
The main source of the frustration seemed to stem from the fact that Obama, often viewed as the messiah to this conference, offered no indication to embrace bold measures to prevent two years of wasted effort from ending in total collapse, or some say even worse, a bad political agreement.
"It was too general, it lack specifics, it didn't address issues of justice, and let's be honest, his targets are still extremely low," said Miruna Su, from the UK.
"Obama's presence here definitely adds to the pressure to get a deal, but we need to make sure its not a bad deal for the sake that leaders don't want Copenhagen to be a failure."
Canadian youth delegate Yvonne Su emphasized after watching the speech that Obama missed a huge chance to change the course of the climate talks that could have truly been historic.
"I don't think its unfair to place these high expectations on Obama. I feel like he set himself up in his campaign, when he talked about climate change for high expectations. When the world relies on these promises, and he doesn't deliver, we are going to get disappointed. The worst part is now, we don't know where to look for hope."
Andy Atkins, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, released a statement saying:
"The President is right that the endeavours in Copenhagen will go down in history - but unless we see a massive shift in the US position, it will be for all the wrong reasons.
"If the President's idea of action is to cut US emissions by 4 per cent on 1990 levels then we're heading for climate catastrophe. Barack Obama should have taken the opportunity to up his proposed cuts to at least 40 per cent by 2020 and ditch carbon offsetting.
"Obama has deeply disappointed not just those listening to his speech at the UN talks - he has disappointed the whole world."