Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bush sabotages upcoming G8 meeting.

Merkel is perhaps his former close ally. Bush is just torpedoing the G8 meeting and making motions as if he actually was interested in combating climate change. No doubt the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will follow along and replace Merkel as his close ally.

Bush unveils climate plans that reject caps
Deborah Zabarenko and Caren Bohan, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, May 31, 2007
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush unveiled a strategy on global warming on Thursday that stressed new technologies but rejected the caps on greenhouse gases that other rich countries want.

To address the problem, Bush said he wants the nations that emit the most climate-warming greenhouse gases to meet in the United States this fall.

The proposals came a week before his close ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts the Group of Eight summit where she hoped to forge an agreement on climate change.

Bush has been under pressure to give some ground at the meeting, but critics dismissed his new strategy as a diversion and a delaying tactic.

Germany and other European countries have had no success in pressing the United States to adopt firm targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

"The United States takes this issue seriously," Bush said in a speech outlining his agenda for the G8 summit at the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm. "The way to meet this challenge of energy and global climate change is through technology and the United States is in the lead."

Bush said he would cut tariff barriers to sharing environmental technology. His plan was greeted with immediate skepticism by environmental groups.

"This is a transparent effort to divert attention from the president's refusal to accept any emissions reductions proposals at next week's G8 summit," said Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust.

"After sitting out talks on global warming for years, the Bush administration doesn't have very much credibility with other governments on the issue," Clapp added.

The U.S. strategy calls for consensus on long-term goals for reducing the greenhouse gases that spur global warming, but not before the end of 2008. Bush would also call on countries to set "midterm" goals "that reflect their own mix of energy sources and future energy needs."

Bush plans in the fall to convene the first in a series of meetings on ways to limit global emissions by a set amount by about 2050. About 15 countries would be invited, including two nations that like the United States are major polluters, China and India.

Merkel had wanted the G8 summit to pave the way for negotiations to expand and extend the Kyoto Protocol on climate change beyond 2012.

But Bush, who rejected the Kyoto accord, opposes the so-called "cap and trade" system at the heart of Kyoto involving credits for companies that cut emissions and penalties for those that do not.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino made clear the United States would continue to reject that approach. "We do not endorse global carbon trading," Perino said.

"This is a deliberate and carefully crafted attempt to derail any prospect of a climate change agreement (at the G8 summit)," said Tony Juniper, head of Friends of the Earth.

"The prospects of him getting this to some form of conclusion in 18 months are extremely slim," Juniper said. "Basically we should see this as a delaying tactic to keep the climate change issue off his back in terms of any real decisions until he leaves office [in early 2009]."

(Additional reporting by Noah Barkin in Berlin)

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