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U.S. refuses to talk global warming cuts at G8 summit

U.S. refuses to talk global warming cuts at G8 summit

U.S. refuses to talk global warming cuts at G8 summit
June 6, 2007

President Bush said he opposed setting firm targets for greenhouse gas cuts at a G8 summit but said that his proposal to fight climate change would not undermine U.N. efforts, as critics have claimed.

Bush told German Chancellor Angela Merkel he had a “strong desire” to eventually develop a plan for slowing global warming, reports Reuters.

Last week Bush announced his global warming plan which consisted of calling for meetings between the 15 leading emitters of greenhouse gases. The U.S. has refused to agree to emissions cuts in previous international conferences.

Image courtesy of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Environmentalists and many European nations have blasted Bush for his apparent foot-dragging on addressing climate change. The U.S. is presently the largest producer of greenhouse gases, though China is expected to surpass it this year or next.

In May a study showed rapid growth of global carbon dioxide emissions and stagnation of gains in carbon intensity, the amount of carbon required to produce a unit of economic output, since the close of the 1990s. After a long rise in carbon efficiency, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study found a reversal in the trend.

“Despite the scientific consensus that carbon emissions are affecting the world’s climate, we are not seeing evidence of progress in managing those emissions in either the developed or developing countries. In many parts of the world, we are going backwards,” said Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology and a co-author of the study. “The trends relating energy to economic growth are definitely headed in the wrong direction.”

Bush first prominently acknowledged the threat of climate change during his 2007 State of the Union Address address, when he called it a “serious threat.”

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