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CC: Bush In U-Turn On Global Warming

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      By Andrew Ward and Edward Luce in Washington and Fiona Harvey in London
      Financial Times
      May 31, 2007


      George W. Bush on Thursday unveiled a striking about-face on global warming,
      calling on the world¹s leading economies to join the US in agreeing a global
      target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions before the end of his term in

      The US president was speaking just ahead of a G8 summit at which climate
      change was expected to be high on the agenda of European governments. He
      explained that his apparent conversion -- which follows almost seven years
      of having rejected precisely the road he outlined -- was prompted by new
      scientific findings.

      But Mr Bush made no pledge on the size of emissions cuts that the US would
      be prepared to sign up to and gave no indication of a timeframe. The White
      House also ruled out carbon trading as the way to cutting emissions.

      Environmental campaigners accused the president of cynically seeking to
      circumvent the Kyoto process, which the United Nations is seeking to renew
      at talks in December. Others accused him of a ploy to derail tougher
      European proposals.

      Mr Bush said: ³Science has deepened our understanding of climate change and
      opened new possibilities for confronting it.

      ³By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term
      global goal for reducing greenhouse gases.²

      He said the US would convene a series of multilateral meetings involving the
      biggest polluters -- including China and India -- to seek agreement on a
      reduction target and how to achieve it.

      Mr Bush added that the process was aimed at preparing the ground for a
      successor to the Kyoto Protocol -- which Washington never ratified -- when
      it expires in 2012. The administration had resisted global emissions

      A senior administration official said G8 members would also be involved in
      the process, along with Brazil, Mexico, Australia and South Korea. The first
      meeting was likely to take place this autumn, he said.

      Germany, the host of next week¹s G8 summit, said it was positive that Mr
      Bush had ³recognised the urgency and need to act on the issue of climate
      change². But in a sign that Berlin remained firmly at odds with Washington,
      a senior official stressed that ³all initiatives should be included².

      Tony Blair, British prime minister, described the US move as a ³huge step

      The European Union has argued for calculating emissions limits by agreeing
      to a goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius.
      But Mr Bush made no mention of tying emissions curbs to a specific
      temperature goal.

      Robin Oakley, of Greenpeace, said Mr Bush¹s gambit was ³a classic spoiler²
      ahead of the G8, ³designed to kick this issue into the long grass until he
      leaves office².


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      Published by David Sunfellow
      NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
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