Issue Date: June 4, 2007
Bush Calls For Global Emissions Strategy
In a May 31 speech explaining the U.S. agenda for the upcoming G-8 summit, President George W. Bush outlined a new strategy for setting worldwide goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In a landmark reversal of his opposition to setting global limits on CO2 emissions, Bush said the U.S. and other nations will, by the end of 2008, "set a long-term goal for reducing greenhouse gases." In addition, "each country would establish midterm national targets and programs that reflect its own mix of energy sources and future energy needs," he said. To develop these goals, the U.S. will be seeking to convene a conference of representatives from the world's largest economies, including India and China, as early as autumn, explained an Administration official in a separate briefing. Previously, the U.S. had appeared unwilling to set any goals on greenhouse gas reduction to be achieved after the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012. Earlier in the week, the U.S. had expressed strong opposition to a German proposal to freeze global greenhouse gas emissions within the next 10 to 15 years, cut emissions to 50% of the 1990 level by 2050, and limit global warming to 2 oC. In a blunt memo, the U.S. wrote: "We have tried to 'tread lightly,' but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position." Officials from the G-8 nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S.—are already holding negotiations on the summit's climate-change declaration. Germany, which holds the G-8 presidency this year, will host the summit in Heiligendamm on June 6-8.
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