U.S. President George W. Bush is determined to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The Democrats criticize his proposal as insufficient and call it the “height of irresponsibility”.
Bush is convinced that his climate strategies will halt the growth of greenhouse gas emission in his country by 2025. Over the next few years, the growth of emissions will have to be reduced continuously until it is completely brought to a halt, said President Bush on Wednesday in Washington. However, the President does not plan on cutting total emissions by 2025, nor is he willing to set an upper limit for CO2 emissions. Environmentalists as well as U.S. Democrats criticize Bush’s plan as ineffective and dangerous.
Meanwhile, Bush called his proposals the “new national goal”. To reach this goal, Bush spoke of the development and deployment of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies. According to the president’s expectations, greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector should be allowed to “peak within 10 to 15 years, and decline thereafter.” Alternatives could be nuclear power and “clean coal”. The president did not, however, propose specific legislation requiring the industry to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, he pleaded for a voluntary incentive system.
A Clear ‘No’ to the Kyoto Protocol
President Bush repeatedly rejected an American involvement in the internationally binding Kyoto process. The Kyoto protocol, which was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is “fatally flawed”, he stated. He furthermore warned the Democratic-led Senate of making premature decisions. A mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions, as is currently debated in Congress, would result in “tremendous costs on our economy and American families”. To avoid a competitive disadvantage, Bush insisted that developing countries such as China and India reduce their emissions as well.
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer called Bush’s proposals the “height of irresponsibility”. His plans neglect the fact that CO2 emissions have already reached a “dangerous level”. The Sierra Club, one of the largest environmental advocacy organizations in the U.S., declared: “Merely halting the growth of emissions is grossly insufficient.”
Under the patronage of the United Nations, the world community, excluding the United States, is presently trying to negotiate new emission reduction targets as a follow-up to the Kyoto protocol which expires in 2012. According to Bush’s spokesperson, the president’s announcements are closely related to what U.S. speakers will present at a climate change conference in Paris this upcoming Thursday and Friday. This conference will host representatives from 16 countries which together are responsible for over 80 percent of the global pollution.