February 21, 2005, Brussels (Belgium) — The United States must take urgent action to combat climate change, Friends of the Earth International said today.

Media Advisory
Friends of the Earth International

The call follows President Bush’s apparent recognition of the need to tackle global warming in a speech in Brussels today.

Mr Bush spoke of the need to “show good stewardship of the earth – and that requires addressing the serious, long-term challenge of global climate change.”

He spoke of emerging technologies and said that “all nations, including the developing countries can advance economically, while slowing the growth in global greenhouse and avoid pollutants that undermine public health”.

Friends of the Earth International said that the US – the world’s biggest polluter – must accept that we need to do far more than “slowing the growth” of greenhouse gases, and called on the US to commit itself to join the rest of the world in tackling global warming by pledging itself to a significant reduction in carbon dioxide levels [1].

Friends of the Earth International climate campaigner Catherine Pearce said:
“Now that President Bush appears to accept the need to tackle climate change, there can be no excuse for US inaction on this issue. The United States , the world’s biggest polluter, must join the rest of the world in tackling this problem. And that means making significant cuts in US emissions. Unless the US takes action, a new era of transatlantic unity cannot begin.”

The evidence that climate change is proceeding apace is piling up and weather extremes across the planet are increasing, both in frequency and intensity. A recent high-level international taskforce “Meeting the Climate Challenge” has revealed that global emissions have to peak by as early as 2015 in order to avoid uncontrollable climate change.


For more information:

Catherine Pearce
Friends of the Earth International Climate Change campaign coordinator, Tel: ++44 (0)20 7566 1723 mobile: ++44 (0) 7811 283641 or email

Jan Kowalzig
Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe +32-2-5426102 or email



[1] President Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, arguing that US business interests would be harmed by the treaty. The United States is responsible for a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions (the principal greenhouse gas), yet it only has around four per cent of the world’s population.