EDINBURGH/LONDON – President Bush’s pledge to put US interests ahead of significant action to tackle climate change has been greeted with anger by Friends of the Earth International. The environmental campaign group is urging the remaining G8 leaders to isolate the US administration at the G8 talks this week.
Speaking in a TV interview tonight, President Bush is reported to have accepted that climate change is “a significant long-term issue we’ve got to deal with” and is man-made “to a certain extent”. But he will refuse to support any moves for binding cuts in greenhouse gases. “If this looks like Kyoto, the answer is no. [Kyoto] would have destroyed our economy.”
Friends of the Earth International vice chair, Tony Juniper, said:
“The Bush Administration¹s policies on climate change are shortsighted, negligent and immoral. The President says that he won’t agree to pollution reduction targets because he wants to protect the American economy, but his actions will lead to economic damages of immense scale, including in the USA. The Bush agenda is clearly driven by vested interests, including companies which see America’s addiction to oil as their license to print money”.
“The other G8 leaders must now show isolate President Bush and find common cause with those countries who do see the need for urgent action, including China and India. One day the USA will come on board, in the meantime those countries who see the threat must forge ahead.”
Bush’s refusal to act flies in the face of action already being taken in the United States. Many Republican senators now accept the reality of human-induced global warming, while several states have decided to cut emissions, and more than 150 city mayors have adopted Kyoto-style emissions reduction targets. The Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday was quoted calling “Governments everywhere” to tackle carbon emissions.
A media briefing on the G8 summit can be found at:
Helen Burley, Press Officer, + 44 (0) 7778 069 930 (m)
Lang Banks, Press Officer, 0131 554 9977/ + 44 (0) 7813 766759 (m
Catherine Pearce + 44 (0) 7811 283641
Neil Verlander, Press Office, + 44 (0) 20 7566 1649/ + 44 (0) 7712 843