U.S. Won’t Commit to Cutting Greenhouse Gases

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says climate change will be a top priority at the upcoming G8 summit, but the U.S. is not expected to shift its pro-industry position.© CAPL@washjeff.edu

Environmentalists are hoping that pressure from the world’s other industrialized nations will spur the U.S. government to finally take action on setting strong mandatory curbs on the emission of greenhouse gases. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that addressing climate change will be a top priority at the upcoming G8 summit, an annual event where the leaders of the U.S., Japan, Germany, Russia, France, Britain, Italy and Canada discuss pressing global issues.

But despite such optimism, the Bush administration is reportedly already working to weaken any calls for commitments on mandatory greenhouse gas reductions at the June meeting. According to a draft of a leaked communiqué on the topic, U.S. officials have requested deleting any mention of "urgently needed international action" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in G8 statements on the topic, instead advocating for a "diversity of approaches to take into account differing circumstances." The U.S. position has been that treaties such as Kyoto allow developing nations to spew large amounts of greenhouse gases while developed countries are forced to cut back.

"I hope we can reach an agreement on some basic principles," President Bush told reporters, adding that he wanted to work with both the G8 leaders as well as China and India to come up with a way forward that reduces greenhouse gases blamed for global warming "without limiting economic growth."

Sources: theglobeandmail.com; Planet Ark