TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Sept07/04)
27 September 2007
see article below which previews the
To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/sep/27/climatechange1
Thursday September 27 2007
in The Guardian (
George Bush was yesterday criticised by diplomats for attempting to
derail a UN initiative on climate change by pressing ahead with his
own conference, which starts in
European diplomat described the
They predicted that Mr Bush, who is to address the meeting tomorrow, will stress the need to make technological advances that can help combat climate change but will reject mandatory caps on emissions.
The British government shares the frustration of other European governments with the lack of urgency on the part of the Bush administration. The British assessment of Mr Bush's conference is reflected in the level of representation - Phil Woolas, a junior environment minister.
Mr Bush invited 15 countries, plus all EU members.
highest-ranking representative from outside the
One of those attending said the conference reflected "political hardball" on the part of the Bush administration, aimed at undermining the UN, for which it holds long-term suspicion. Another said the conference was aimed at domestic politics, with Mr Bush seeking headlines and television coverage implying that he was doing something about climate change while, in fact, doing almost nothing.
was criticism too from within the
European diplomats say they detect a change in recent months in the Bush administration, with some - though not necessarily Mr Bush - accepting that humans are responsible for climate change. But they add that this has not so far turned into a willingness to abandon resistance to mandatory limits on emissions or reliance on fossil fuels.
Connie Hedegard, the Danish environment minister, who is attending the conference, told members of Congress that she and other European leaders "are getting a bit impatient, not on our own behalf, but on behalf of the planet".
added: "We need the support of the
John Ashton, the special envoy of the British foreign secretary, David Milliband, told the UN Foundation on Tuesday that he and others would judge the conference on whether it produced a concrete commitment rather than a voluntary pledge.
"The question on the mind of everybody heading into those meetings ... will be, is this talking about talking, or deciding about doing?" he told the audience.
Hellmer, of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in
an interview with the Washington Post that the president did not object
to other countries committing themselves to mandatory curbs on carbon
emissions but rejected that strategy for the
New York, at the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference, Charlie
Crist, the governor of Florida, joined Bill Clinton to announce plans
by Florida Power & Light to build a solar power plant as part
of a $2.4bn (£1.19bn) clean energy programme. "This is
a huge deal for
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