November 5, 2004 — US President George Bush became further isolated on the issue of global climate change today following Russian ratification of the climate change treaty known as ‘Kyoto protocol’.
Friends of the Earth International
Under the treaty industrialised nations responsible for 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions must ratify the protocol before it can come into effect. Now that Russia has ratified the treaty this key threshold has been reached.
The treaty should now become legally binding within 90 days of Russia notifying the United Nations.
The Kyoto protocol is only the first step towards tackling climate change. Much bigger cuts in greenhouse gases will be required in the years ahead.
President Bush has refused to ratify the treaty claiming it would harm the US economy. The US is the world’s biggest polluter – despite having around only four per cent of the global population it is responsible for around 25 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Working with corporate contributors to his campaign, President Bush is expected to try once again to pass at home an energy bill that favors coal, oil and nuclear power over cleaner sources such as solar and wind power. The bill might allow for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Friends of the Earth International’s vice-chair, Tony Juniper, said:
“Despite the best efforts of the USA and some of its major corporations, the Kyoto Protocol lives. This is an historic moment for life on Earth and must pave the way for new agreements to reduce climate changing emissions. But intense international pressure must also be placed on President Bush and the United States to finally acknowledge the scale of the threat we now face and to take action to deal with it.”
“The USA is the world’s biggest polluter and has a moral responsibility to reduce the pollution that is rapidly warming up the world. If it does not, its own economy and society will pay a heavy price,” he added.
Friends of the Earth International is the largest grassroots environmental network in the world with more than one million members in 70 countries.
for more information
Friends of the Earth International vice-chair, Tony Juniper
Tel: +44-20 75661649 (press office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The United Nations Convention on Climate Change website is http://www.unfccc.org/