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  Latest News  
  June 13,  2005
Volume 83, Number 24
p. 6


  Action On Global Climate Change
Science academies call for greenhouse gas cuts; industry testifies to reductions



The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and groups from 10 other nations are contending that the scientific evidence on global climate change is now clear enough for government leaders to commit to prompt action. Their June 7 statement was timed to coincide with U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair's meeting with President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C.

The academies from the U.S., U.K, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil, China, and India called on nations to identify cost-effective steps to take now to contribute to long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. A delay, they said, will increase environmental damage and likely incur a greater cost.

In releasing the statement, Robert Lord May of Oxford University, president of Britain's Royal Society, said, "It is clear that world leaders can no longer use uncertainty about aspects of climate change as an excuse for not taking urgent action." He called U.S. policy on climate change "misguided."

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, top officials with DuPont, Cinergy, Baxter International, and United Technologies told the House Science Committee that voluntary measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions have saved them money, cut energy use, and improved efficiency and competitiveness. DuPont cut carbon emissions by 40% in 2000, based on 1990 emissions, said Mack McFarland, DuPont fluoroproducts global environmental manager. Better efficiency has saved the company more than $2 billion since 1991, he says, but warns that a lack of federal leadership is creating a patchwork of state laws and a "hardship" for chemical companies.

The White House claims that the U.S. is taking action. "President Bush has committed his Administration to cut our nation's greenhouse gas intensity [emissions per dollar of gross domestic product] by 18% over the next 10 years," says Council on Environmental Quality spokesperson Michele St. Martin.

  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2005

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