The Heat Is Online

German Conservative Candidate Says US Policy Fueled Katrina

German Conservative Links Katrina to US CO2 Policy, Sept. 2, 2005


BERLIN - A German conservative policymaker said on Thursday climate change had played a role in Hurricane Katrina and urged theUS to join other nations in cutting the carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming.


Gerda Hasselfeldt, a leading candidate to become environment minister if the conservative opposition wins the Sept. 18 election, was asked in an interview with n-tv television if climate change had contributed to the devastation wrought by the storm on theUS Gulf Coast in which thousands may have died.


"That is the case," she replied, adding that there should be better coordination at the global level to achieve a further reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.


"TheUS must be more involved. But we will not achieve that through insults," Hasselfeldt said.


The White House has shunned the Kyoto Protocol, a global agreement adopted by more than 150 countries, which aims to reduce the emission of so-called greenhouse gases.US President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of Kyoto and has said it would have "wrecked" the economy.


The United States is the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter and wants emissions cuts to be voluntary. Last month the United States joined other countries including Japan, China and India in a pact which focused on technology sharing without set targets.