February 14, 2002 – The plan seeks to confuse American voters and the rest of world by recommending a ceiling on greenhouse gas intensity [1] which will actually allow for continued increases in US greenhouse gas emissions.

The 18% intensity ‘reduction’ target does not even require slower emissions growth: between 1990 and 2000, US greenhouse gas emissions increased by 14% while greenhouse gas intensity shrunk by 17.4%.

President Bush is also suggesting that revamping voluntary programmes will result in emissions reductions. After Rio, the United States ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and introduced voluntary measures, but emissions continued to grow.

The new Bush plan is simply business as usual. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the US agreed to reduce its emissions by 7% against its 1990 level. By abandoning the Protocol, the Bush administration has abandoned a mandatory system that would have resulted in real emissions reductions.

Kate Hampton of Friends of the Earth International said: “The United States is the world’s biggest polluter. It is outrageous that President Bush is still refusing to cut emissions in order to avoid upsetting the powerful US fossil fuel lobby. “This is an insult to other countries who gave their backing to the Kyoto Protocol in Marrakech last year. World leaders must not play along with this green con trick and continue to press him to ratify Kyoto.”
[1] Greenhouse gas intensity expresses the relationship between emissions and economic growth. See Friends of the Earth’s briefing on President Bush to Announce Climate Change “Policy”. Copies available from the press office at Friends of the Earth UK.

Kate Hampton, International Co-ordinator Climate Change Campaign,
Friends of the Earth 26-28 Underwood Street
London N1 7JQ
Tel: +44(0)20 7566 1723
Mob: +44(0)77 4896 7323
Fax: +44(0)20 7490 0881