April 19, 2001 – This afternoon thirty Friends of the Earth activists dressed in yellow oilskins hung lifesavers on the fence surrounding the American consulate in Amsterdam. One of the lifesavers has Bush’s name on it and is accompanied by a letter. In the letter Friends of the Earth calls on President Bush to stick to the Kyoto Protocol. The lifesaver is a symbol for what will happen if nothing is done to stop climate change.

Wijnand Duyvendak, Friends of the Earth Netherlands director: “The United States is responsible for one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, with undisputed statistics such as these to back out of the climate treaty is an indefensible cowardice. Bush must bring his country back to the “Kyoto” pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries – the United States must live up to its commitments.”

The message to Bush is being sent on the eve of a New York meeting between key environmental ministers and the chair of the international climate negotiations, Mr. Pronk. The meeting is in preparation of the climate talks in July in Bonn. Friends of the Earth wants to see an agreement that will actually lead to the five percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as agreed in Kyoto in 1997.

American climate policy, which was not that good to start with, is suffering a serious setback. Bush recently announced billion dollar budget cuts in climate measures and even went so far as to cast doubt global warming, despite overwhelming scientific consensus pointing to the dangers of continued accelerated human-induced climate change. Protests against his standpoint are coming from all over the world. Friends of the Earth Netherlands has joined its international sister organisations in an e-mail protest against Bush.

Protest E-mails can be sent at http://www.foeeurope.org/climate