15 House Committee Chairmen urge Bush to stop efforts to weaken G-8 climate change declaration


On May 18 fifteen House Committee Chairmen sent a letter calling on the President to stop U.S. efforts to weaken a proposed G-8 declaration on global climate change. A draft of the declaration leaked to the press showed that the U.S. pushed for changes that would delete text on targets for reducing greenhouse gases, on environmental impacts and security implications of climate change, and on the need for urgent action.

The letter from the House Committee Chairmen cites the recently issued policymaker summaries of the IPCC Working Group II assessment report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and the Working Group III report on Mitigation of Climate Change in concluding that “The G8 Summit should be an opportunity to galvanize international support for addressing this looming threat, not an opportunity to prevent and undermine international action….[W]e need an Executive Branch that engages the rest of the world to solve the problem rather than stubbornly ignoring it.”

Bloomberg News reported on May 17:

U.S. Pushes G8 to Remove Climate-Change Goals From Agreement

The U.S. requested changes to a Group of Eight declaration on climate change that eliminate some targets for reducing greenhouse gases and delete language stressing the need for urgent action.

The proposed revisions are in a draft copy of the statement obtained by Bloomberg News. The document, dated last month, includes portions that the U.S. has requested be crossed out when a final version is released at the end of the G8 summit scheduled for June 6-8 in Heiligendamm, Germany….

One passage that is crossed out in the draft states: “Climate change is speeding up and will seriously damage our common natural environment and severely weaken global economy with implications for international security. We underline that tackling climate change is an imperative not a choice. We firmly agree that resolute and concerted international action is urgently needed.”

Another edit proposed by the U.S. is the removal from the document of a statement that greenhouse gas emissions need to peak within the next 10 to 15 years, followed by reductions of 50 percent from 1990 levels by 2050….

The draft document calls for “a clear message on the further development of the international regime to combat climate change” to be delivered at the UN conference, another passage the U.S. wants deleted….

Copyright 2007, Bloomberg



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