NBC: Fighting Global Warming ‘Requires Balancing the World’s Needs with America’s’

The the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Wednesday informed viewers that President Obama has decided to attend the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen – while ignoring news of Climategate – but the NBC Nightly News uniquely devoted a full story to Obama’s intention to take part in the conference, and the prospects that America will bend to pressure from other countries in agreeing to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Anchor Brian Williams introduced the report calling global warming "one of the biggest issues facing the planet," and correspondent Anne Thompson relayed fears that "time is running out," and hopes that Obama will deliver "more than political hot air" on the issue. Thompson: "As scientists insist time is running out to combat global warming, news that President Obama will attend next month's climate talks revived hopes that Copenhagen would produce more than political hot air."

After passing on to viewers Obama’s goals for cutting emissions, the NBC correspondent highlighted complaints that the President would not go far enough: "Still, not enough for some. Friends of the Earth called the 17 percent target ‘weak.’ Mr. Obama's proposal is far less than the cuts promised by Japan and the European Union. Even the United Nations climate chief offered only lukewarm praise."

Thompson briefly mentioned the views of critics who believe India and China must agree to more emission cuts before Americans agree to do more, before she concluded the report by pitting America’s "needs" against those of the world:

ANNE THOMPSON: Mr. Obama said he made progress with Indian Prime Minister Singh this week.

BARACK OBAMA: We resolved to take significant national mitigation actions that will strengthen the world's ability to combat climate change.

THOMPSON: A difficult challenge that requires balancing the world's needs with America's. Anne Thompson, NBC News, New York.

Below are complete transcripts of the stories that ran on ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson, the CBS Evening News, and the NBC Nightly News on Wednesday, November 25:

#From the November 25, World News with Charles Gibson on ABC:

CHARLES GIBSON: The White House said today President Obama will attend the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen next month. The President is expected to commit the U.S. to cutting carbon emissions by 17 percent by the year 2020. And he will lay out a plan to cut emission levels 83 percent by the middle of the century.

#From the November 25 CBS Evening News :

HARRY SMITH: President Obama will be heading back overseas in two weeks. He will attend a climate conference in Denmark, where he will commit to cutting harmful emissions in the United States by 17 percent over the next decade. Then it`s on to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

#From the November 25 NBC News News :

BRIAN WILLIAMS: We learned today President Obama will travel next month to Copenhagen for a U.N. conference to address one of the biggest issues facing the planet: global warming. Until today, there were doubts about whether the President would attend this meeting. Now, as our chief foreign, our chief environmental affairs correspondent, Anne Thompson, reports tonight, the President will not only go, he'll make a new promise on behalf of this country.

ANNE THOMPSON: As scientists insist time is running out to combat global warming, news that President Obama will attend next month's climate talks revived hopes that Copenhagen would produce more than political hot air.

FRED KRUPP, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND: I think it's terrific that the President is going to Copenhagen. It signals to the world that he is serious and the United States is serious about taking a step toward a final binding agreement.

THOMPSON: In Copenhagen, the President will propose the United States cut its greenhouse gas emissions in a range of 17 percent by 2020.

KEYA CHATTERJEE, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: From the environmental perspective, it's not quite enough to get to where we need to be, but it's a really, really important start.

THOMPSON: Still, not enough for some. Friends of the Earth called the 17 percent target "weak." Mr. Obama's proposal is far less than the cuts promised by Japan and the European Union. Even the United Nations climate chief offered only lukewarm praise.

YVO DE BOER, UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The world is very much looking to the United States to come forward with an emission reduction target and to contribute international financial support to help developing countries.

THOMSPON: In other words, come up with the money so poor nations, the most vulnerable to climate change, can buy the technologies to adapt. On climate change, the President has two audiences: the world, which wants United States leadership; and the U.S. Senate, which would have to approve any binding climate treaty. Those leery of a treaty insist growing economic powers China and India must reduce their emissions, too.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Please be seated.

THOMPSON: Mr. Obama said he made progress with Indian Prime Minister Singh this week.

OBAMA: We resolved to take significant national mitigation actions that will strengthen the world's ability to combat climate change.

THOMPSON: A difficult challenge that requires balancing the world's needs with America's. Anne Thompson, NBC News, New York.