April 12, 2001 – Since Bush shocked the international community with his intent to trash the UN treaty to combat climate change, over 100,000 e-mail protests have flooded the White House. The e-campaign initiated by Friends of the Earth has inspired people all over the planet, from the Texas to Turkey, to send a message to the President of the United States of America: George W. Bush: don’t wreck the Kyoto Protocol – the only international treaty capable of addressing climate change.

The White House server has reportedly crashed five times in the past week and Friends of the Earth’s e-mail server is close to meltdown as FOE receives copies of all messages. At peak times, a new e-protest arrives at the White House every second ! Since the start of the action last Thursday (March 29), more than 100,000 people from all continents participated by Wednesday April 11th and the numbers now rise by ten thousand/day.

When Friends of the Earth contacted the White House for a statement on the mass protest we were connected to five different stammering spokesmen, none of them willing to spin a line for the President.

Next week, negotiators will meet in New York [1] and discuss a proposal for how the negotiations will proceed tabled by Jan Pronk, Dutch Environment Minister and Chair of the UN climate talks.
Roger Higman, senior climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth England, Wales & Northern Ireland: “The tens of thousands of FLOOD BUSH e-protests jamming the White House server are a wake-up call to politicians: act now, not later. The test of our governmentsí environmental integrity is clear: the Kyoto Protocol must be strengthened, ratified and then implemented before the 2002 deadline – with or without the US. We cannot afford to waste anymore time – the climate will not wait.”

Roda Verheyen, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe: “The US has consistently lobbied for weaker Kyoto commitments through the inclusion of absurd adopt-a-tree ‘sinks’ proposals instead of real CO2 emission reductions, so Bush’s rejection was just a clarification. Negotiators must now focus on closing the loopholes and get-out clauses that undermine the treatyís CO2 reduction targets. The next climate summit in July must ensure an environmentally credible agreement, not an agreement to do nothing. Governments must make it very clear to the US: the Kyoto Protocol is about globally coordinated CO2 reductions to save the climate, it is not a forum for obstructive counter-proposals and political lipservicing.”
The Kyoto Protocol must ensure:

  • real reductions of fossil fuel emissions in every industrialised country;
  • investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency not nuclear power, so-called “carbon sinks”, large hydroelectricity or coal projects;
  • industrialised countries make CO2 emission reductions at home;
    funding for climate disaster preparedness and management;
  • recognition of the inequitable use of the world’s resources: developing countries have a right to develop and industrialised countries must encourage more sustainable energy consumption.Contacts:
    On climate politics: Roda Verheyen, FoE Climate Campaigner: 0049 179 465 2979
    On the FLOOD BUSH e-mail protest: Howard Mollett, Friends of the Earth Europe: +32-2-5420189

FLOOD BUSH on-line: www.foeeurope.org/climate Notes:
[1] From 16-27 April 2001 the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development will hold its Ninth Session in New York. The Commission was established in 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of the Rio Earth Summit.
[2] Next UN Conference of the Parties (COP6bis) to the Kyoto Protocol: Bonn, 16-27 July 2001.