January 26, 2001 – Friends of the Earth is deeply concerned following last night’s request from the new US administration for a 2 month delay in the resumption of international talks on tackling global climate change.

United Nations talks in The Hague last November broke up without agreement after the European Union, the United States and others failed to resolve differences over how to tackle the issue. Talks were due to resume in Bonn, Germany, in May but American officials have asked for a delay until July so they can “take a thorough look at US climate policy”.

Earlier reports indicated that the incoming Bush administration would not have completed the necessary political appointments in time for an international meeting in May.

Friends of the Earth International campaigner Roger Higman said: “We are deeply concerned that the US wants to postpone the resumption of these crucial talks on tackling climate change. As this week’s dire warning from the UN made clear, urgent action is desperately needed. With Bush’s less than impressive record on environmental issues, this delay may simply provide an opportunity for the President’s friends in the oil industry to strengthen their opposition.

Roger Higman 00 44 207 566 1661 (Work) / 00 44 7780 661807 (Mobile)
Mark Johnston 00 44 973 319 249 (Mobile)