Bush's green noises greeted with scepticism
Financial Times, May 31 2007 18:33
In the last few months President George W. Bush has performed a number of U-turns.
On Monday, for example, US officials held direct talks in
But Thursday's speech on global warming, in which Mr Bush proposed that the world should agree a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, may come to be seen as the most brazen of them all.
Summing up the administration's climate change stance in 2001 following Mr Bush's first Europe visit, Andrew Card, then White House chief of staff, said: "The emperor
On Thursday Mr Bush essentially proposed a successor protocol to
Others were more incredulous, citing the fact that Mr Bush's administration continues to contest the right of 12
Thursday's announcement also follows weeks of wrangling between the
This is a transparent effort to divert attention from the presidents refusal to accept any emissions reductions proposals at next weeks G8 summit, said Philip Clap, head of the National Environmental Trust, another lobby group.
The White House is just trying to hide the fact that the President is completely isolated among the G8 leaders by calling vaguely for some agreement next year, right before he leaves office.
However, Barbara Boxer, the Democratic senator who is leading congressional efforts to create a
Whether or not Mr Bushs change of policy on global warming is heartfelt, observers are agreed that the
A growing number of evangelical Christians, the bedrock of Mr Bush's electoral support, have embraced the issue, convinced that responsible stewardship of the environment is a Christian mission. Last year, a group of prominent evangelical leaders launched an advertising campaign on Christian radio stations raising the alarm on global warming.
US business leaders have also increasingly broken from Mr Bush on the issue. In January, 10 of the biggest
Meanwhile, almost all of the 2008 presidential candidates have accepted the science behind global warming and the need for action. "Political forces have converged in
"One by one, Republicans, business leaders, governors and evangelicals have changed their position. Mr Bush is really following them and not leading."
But the real test, say observers, will be in the precise stance Mr Bush takes at the global warming summits he plans to convene. "Mr Bush says technology, technology technology, and the Europeans say regulation, regulation, regulation," said Ms Smith. "Let's see what happens in practice."
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
Planetark.org, June 1, 2007
The proposals, announced before a summit of major powers that will consider the issue, stressed new technologies to make energy use more efficient and restated Bush's rejection of firm caps on carbon dioxide emissions that many of his allies want.
Critics dismissed the strategy as a diversion and a delaying tactic but some European leaders and a U.N official expressed hope that it might be a first step to more action.
It was the strongest statement yet from the
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had hoped to forge an agreement on climate change at a Group of Eight summit of major industrialized countries she is hosting next week and Bush has been under pressure to give some ground at the meeting.
"To help develop this goal, the
Bush's proposals included cuts in tariff barriers to encourage sharing environmental technology.
Merkel said Bush's announcement showed that global warming could not be ignored but said that work was still needed on the concrete formulations to be used at the G8 meeting at the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm.
"I think the important thing is -- for the first time
In an interview with Reuters, UN climate change chief Yvo de Boer said that White House staff had indicated that this could be the start of a policy shift.
ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE SKEPTICAL
But many environmentalists were highly skeptical.
"The plan announced by President Bush today is a complete charade," said Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth. "It is an attempt to make the Bush administration look like it takes global warming seriously without actually doing anything to curb emissions."
Bush plans to convene the first in a series of meetings later this year on ways to limit global emissions by a set amount by about 2050. About 15 countries would be invited, including
Merkel had wanted the G8 summit to pave the way for negotiations to expand and extend the Kyoto Protocol on climate change beyond 2012.
Bush, who rejected the
Bush's plan found little favor among Democrats who now run the US Congress. Rep. Ed Markey of
"All that President Bush is willing to do is engage in fruitless discussions until the very end of his administration, leaving his successor with the task of actually doing something," Markey said in a statement.
Sen. Barbara Boxer of
But Boxer said in a statement, "No lasting progress on global warming can happen without mandatory caps on global warming pollution."
At least six bills that aim to limit emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are under consideration in Congress. Outside
Environmental groups attack Bush's climate change proposals
Forbes.com, June 1, 2007
LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Environmental campaigners accused US President George W. Bush of attempting to 'derail' negotiations over tackling climate change ahead of the G8 summit next week.
Bush said yesterday that he wanted to create a new global framework for reducing carbon emissions, but some have accused him of trying to circumvent the G8 process.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Greenpeace expressed strong disappointment at Bush's annoucement, saying the effect of his move would be to 'wreck' the existing process.
FoE director Tony Juniper accused Bush of 'a transparent attempt to derail negotiations that are already going on in the G8 and the United Nations.'
'If the president wishes to be taken seriously on the subject of climate change, he needs to arrive in
Meanwhile, a Greenpeace spokesman said he had attempted a 'late night mugging' on the
'When it comes to environmental destruction, George Bush is in a presidential league of his own,' he said. 'To now claim that he is a leading steward of the environment shows how deeply unserious this man is.
'It is unbelievable that Tony Blair could possibly take this new announcement seriously.'
Blair said yesterday that
Copyright AFX News Limited 2007. All rights reserved