Gothenburg, June 6, 2001 – Friends of the Earth International today dismissed plans by President Bush for voluntary agreements to tackle climate change as totally inadequate. The US President is reportedly putting the final touches on a new climate action plan which focusses largely on voluntary measures. The move comes ahead of Mr Bush’s meeting with European leaders in Gothenburg, Sweden next week.

Kate Hampton, Friends of the Earth International’s Climate Change Co-ordinator said: “Climate change is one of the biggest threats the planet faces. Mr Bush’s plans to tackle the problem with voluntary measures just won’t work. They are totally inadequate and show that the US, the world’s biggest polluter, is not prepared to face up to its international responsibilities. This move sends yet another signal to the world community that the US government has a cavalier attitude to the environment. The EU must reject this plan in Gothenburg and push ahead with Japan to implement binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

Kate Hampton will be in Gothenburg during President Bush’s visit.