Friday, June 01, 2007

hypocricy has no limits...

Bush Proposes Goals on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

NY Times, May 31 — President Bush, fending off international accusations that he was ignoring climate change, proposed for the first time on Thursday to set “a long-term global goal” for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and he called on other high-polluting nations to join the United States in negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement by the end of next year.
“In recent years, science has deepened our understanding of climate change and opened new possibilities for confronting it,” Mr. Bush said, previewing the climate change package he is to present when he meets the leaders of the Group of 8 industrialized nations in Germany next week. “The United States takes this issue seriously.”
The White House seems determined to alter the president’s image on climate change before he leaves office in January 2009. The issue is a high priority for two of Mr. Bush’s closest European allies — Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — and with Democrats now controlling Congress, the president also faces domestic pressure to act.

Mr. Bush promised to convene a series of meetings, beginning in the fall, with 10 to 15 countries that produce the most greenhouse gas emissions, including China and India. Each country would establish midterm national targets for reducing emissions over the next 10 to 20 years, while working together to set a longer-term goal.

The talks also would bring together industry leaders, Mr. Bush said, so that the countries could work with them to pool their knowledge and promote investment in energy-efficient technologies, including solar and wind energy, clean coal and nuclear power. But each country would be free to set its own goals, and there would be no binding international framework for enforcement.
But beneath the faint praise there was caution. The second phase of the Kyoto Protocol talks is set to take place in Bali at the end of this year, and Mr. Bush’s alternative forum risks being seen as an attempt to circumvent or even derail those talks.
“If you take all of this at face value, and you imagine that they go off and actually do it, then it could be a radically different way of organizing the global effort to control these emissions,” Professor Victor [David G. Victor, a Stanford University law professor whose writings helped provide the underpinnings for Thursday’s speech] said. But he said it would be “very difficult for this to be taken as seriously as it should be taken in the rest of the world without some kind of a clear game plan domestically in the U.S.”

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