Gothenbrug, June 16, 2001 – Greenpeace – WWF – Friends of the Earth (FoE), the three largest international environmental groups welcomed the conclusions of the EU Heads of state and government to isolate President George W Bush by their decision to go ahead with the implementation and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

At the end of the three-day meeting the European Union concluded that ” The Union and its Member States are determined to meet their own commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. The Commission will prepare a proposal for the ratification before the end of 2001 making it possible for the Union and its Member States to fulfil their commitment to rapidly ratify the Kyoto Protocol”.

“In other words, this means that the EU has agreed at its highest political level to go UNILATERALLY for the implementation and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol”, said Kate Hampton, International Climate Campaign Coordinator of Friends of Earth (FoE). “We welcome agreement within the EU to take this small but difficult initial step,” Hampton added.
Furthermore, the conclusions stated that the “European Union will work to ensure the widest possible participation of industrialised countries in an effort to ensure the entry into force of the Protocol by 2002.”

“We are pleased to see that the EU continues to lead the world on climate change”, said Dennis Pamlin, WWF Climate change campaign. “Bush has definitely failed to convince the EU to ignore worldwide public outcry about climate change. Now he must step aside, not obstruct and let other countries to move ahead. We are particularly delighted with the announcement that the EU will visit Japan and other countries in the next weeks to convince them to join the EU to ratify the Kyoto Protocol”, Pamlin added.

Now it is time to translate the words into action. The world will meet in four weeks’ time (16- 27 July) in Bonn, Germany, to resume the talks that faltered in The Hague at the end of last year. At the resumed COP6, the world will decide on the modalities to proceed with the Kyoto Protocol.
“From now until the end of Bonn, we will harness the public outcry against Bush to show that Kyoto is the vital first step to save the climate”, said Michel Raquet, Greenpeace International spokesperson.

“We believe that USA will not come back to the Kyoto Protocol under the Bush administration and that the EU has a special responsibility to make the Protocol workable. People all around the world put their hope in the EU to conclude an environmental Protocol. There is no time to waste”, Raquet concluded.

For further information
Kate Hampton, Friends of the Earth: +44-774-896.7323
Dennis Pamlin, WWF : +46-70-78.78.178
Michel Raquet, Greenpeace : +32-496-16.33.65