By Dan Shapley
President Bush, sounding like the pre-2000 campaigner, said yesterday that he wanted to get serious with the world about climate change and set some goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He proposed reducing tariff restrictions to increase the trade of environmental technology, and called for a meeting of 15 world leaders -- including those of India and China -- so that they could agree on greenhouse gas emissions goals that would be reached by mid-century. That meeting is to be held by next year. Bush has resisted worldwide emissions caps and continued to do so. He envisions a voluntary framework, even as the same gang that agreed to Kyoto Protocol restrictions is working on Round 2, and the European Union and Asia are increasingly seeing eye to eye on their own greenhouse gas reductions targets. His critics were not satisfied with his latest proposal. And the president's statements were curiously undercut by the head of NASA, who -- despite leading an agency that has conducted pioneering research into the dangers of unmitigated climate change -- said he was "not sure"
climate change is a serious problem in need of a solution. The plan announced by President Bush today is a complete charade," Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder said. "It is an attempt to make the Bush administration look like it takes global warming seriously without actually doing anything to curb emissions. If President Bush were serious about global warming, he would join the U.N. talks that are already underway, or he''d listen to the German Chancellor''s ideas and discuss global warming at the G8. Today''s proposal is an outrageous attempt to derail those talks rather than contribute to them." The President is warming up to throw his opening pitch while business, states and the rest of the world are already at the top of the ninth inning, said NRDC Climate Policy Director and former treaty negotiator David Doniger. It is nothing less than embarrassing that three of the worlds biggest oil companies are calling for tougher measure than the White House. Democrat Rick Boucher, Chairman of the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, however, praised the President. "I applaud President Bush for his statement. Global warming is a problem which must be solved in cooperation with other nations, and the President sets the United States on a clear path toward that necessary international engagement," Boucher said. The Group of 8 meets next week, and climate is high on their agenda
, according to a story in the June 1 Los Angeles Times.