Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"We Are Trying to Preserve...God's Creation"

The Oakland Tribune reported on the United State's rejection of the EU's climate plan.
The United States rejected the European Union's all-encompassing target on reduction of carbon emissions, President Bush's environmental adviser said Tuesday.
James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the United States is not against setting goals but prefers to focus them on specific sectors, such as cleaner coal and reducing dependence on gasoline. "The U.S. has different sets of targets," he said.
Germany, which holds the European Union and Group of Eight presidencies, is proposing a so-called "two-degree" target, whereby global temperatures would be allowed to increase no more than 2 degrees Celsius — the equivalent of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — before being brought back down. Practically, experts have said that means a global reduction in emissions of 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Connaughton, on a one-week bipartisan trip to Europe with members of the House of Representatives, said the U.S. favors "setting targets in the context of national circumstances."
In Hamburg, Asian countries, including rising global powerhouses China and India, reluctantly agreed Tuesday to back European calls for a new climate change treaty by 2009 to limit greenhouse gases after the Kyoto Protocol expires.
The deal was a step forward for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's push for a climate deal at next week's G-8 summit.
Despite the disagreements, Connaughton said the G-8 meeting, which brings together the leaders of Germany, the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan, could still result in a productive conclusion.
"Let the G-8 process run its course," he said. "Give the leaders a chance."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who opposes Bush on climate policy, urged international cooperation in tackling climate change.
Pelosi, on a separate trip to Berlin, hailed Chancellor Angela Merkel's "extraordinary leadership" in fighting climate change and agreed "that these solutions must be multilateral."
"We are trying to preserve the planet, which many in our country, including I, believe is God's creation, and we have a responsibility to preserve it," Pelosi said, speaking alongside the German leader after a meeting at the chancellery.

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