Bush shames the US by abandoning the Kyoto agreement
Bush has provoked almost universal outrage among European
leaders by his decision to abandon the Kyoto agreement on
reducing greenhouse gases.
Kyoto's first stage envisages average emission cuts of
5.2% on their 1990 levels by 39 industrialised countries.
The US would have had to make cuts of 7%. However, Bush
has withdrawn US participation in the agreement and there
is growing pressure among the protocol's supporters to ratify
it with or without the US. In the United Kingdom most newspapers
attacked President Bush’s decision. The Guardian said that
in the space of two short months America has started to
resemble the ultimate rouge state and the dirty man of environmental
politics. The Independent agreed calling Bush the ‘polluter
of the free world’ and accuses him of making a serious mistake.
The Daily Telegraph however, called the outrage ‘hysteria’.
Bush has abandoned all pledges to reduce CO2 emissions
and has ignored the scientific consensus that pollution
is causing global warming. Instead, the President favours
a ‘technological approach’ to the global warming issue but
most politicians and scientists agree that technology will
not be enough: they believe it must complement Kyoto's approach.
John Gummer, a former UK Environment Secretary, said "You
can't possibly just scrap Kyoto, "And you can't have
the US stamping all over the world saying it won't co-operate.
What you have to do is say 'We've made our commitments,
and we're standing by them.'
No-one wants to go ahead without the US, but if we have
to we will. It's American business that will make the administration
see sense, because the countries that do ratify will have
the commercial edge over those that don't. There are huge
markets for clean technology."
Sir Crispin Tickell, former British ambassador to the UN
and adviser to successive UK governments, said "The
US decision is very short-sighted, and a confession of weakness.
Saying Kyoto would harm their economy just shows how inefficient
it is. They're pleading protection for their own inefficiency.
The other industrialised countries should certainly go on
and ratify the protocol."
The EU environment commissioner, Margot Wallstrom, said:
"The EU is committed to the protocol, and aims at getting
it enforced by 2002.
The reality is that there is no definite proof for global
warming and with the complexities of climate it may never
be. However, it is increasingly likely that carbon dioxide
pollution has upset the earth’s natural carbon equilibrium
and is causing climate change. Bush is putting ‘Big Business’
before the long-term future of the globe. NASA is one of
global warming’s biggest supporters and last year came to
the conclusion that it’s main rival, solar cycles, could
not be responsible for recent climate changes. Perhaps the
President should contact the BS Met Office before making
any more foolish decisions…
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