MOO Reports:
Bush shames the US by abandoning the Kyoto agreement

President 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 However, Bush has withdrawn US participation in the agreement and there is growing pressure among the protocol's supporters to ratify it with or without the US.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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John Dray



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