Home | This Week's Contents  |  C&EN ClassifiedsSearch C&EN Online

Millennium Special Report
C&EN 75th Anniversary Issue
Related Stories
Science Affirms Global Warming
[C&EN, June 11, 2001]

U.S. Abandons Kyoto Protocol
[C&EN, April 2, 2001]

[C&EN, Mar. 19, 2001]

Global Climate Policy Change
[C&EN, Mar. 12, 2001]

[C&EN, Feb. 26, 2001]

Climate-Change Impacts May Cut GDP
[C&EN, Feb. 19, 2001]

Pace Of Global Change Quickens
[C&EN, Jan. 29, 2001]

An Episodic History of Climate Change
[C&EN, Jan. 17, 2001]

Climate Treaty Stalemate
[C&EN, Dec 18, 2000]

Deadlock On Climate Change
[C&EN, Dec 4, 2000]

Scant Progress At Climate-Change Meeting
[C&EN, Nov. 27, 2000]

Clinton Urges Action To Mitigate Climate Change
[C&EN, Nov. 20, 2000]

Panel Reaffirms Human Influence On Global Warming
[C&EN, April 24, 2000]

Consequences of Climate Change
[C&EN, Mar. 27, 2000]

Related Sites
Kyoto protocol

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

U.S. National Academy of Sciences

European Climate Change Program

Global Climate Coalition

World Resources Institute

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

E-mail this article to a friend
Print this article
E-mail the editor
 Table of Contents
 C&EN Classifieds
 News of the Week
 Cover Story
 Editor's Page
 Government & Policy
  Government & Policy
 ACS News
 Digital Briefs
 ACS Comments
 Career & Employment
 Special Reports
 What's That Stuff?
 Pharmaceutical Century

 Hot Articles
 Safety  Letters

 Back Issues

 How to Subscribe
 Subscription Changes
 About C&EN
 Copyright Permission
 E-mail webmaster
June 18, 2001
Volume 79, Number 25
CENEAR 79 25 pp. 7
ISSN 0009-2347
[Previous Story] [Next Story]

President outlines steps for U.S., but remains opposed to Kyoto protocol


In a major speech on the issue of global climate change delivered on June 11, President George W. Bush once again rejected the Kyoto protocol, calling it a "fatally flawed," "unrealistic" accord with targets "not based on science."

THORNY ISSUE The White House Rose Garden provided the setting for Bush's speech on climate change. EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman is to his left.
"Complying with those mandates," he said, "would have a negative economic impact, with layoffs of workers and price increases for consumers." However, he did say that the U.S. would continue to work within the United Nations framework "to develop an effective and science-based response to the issue of global warming."

Rather than trying to reach its Kyoto emissions target, the U.S. will beef up its investment in climate-change research and work on technologies to reduce emissions, he said.

Bush also said that the U.S. would increase conservation and energy efficiency and "consequently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by significant amounts in coming years." That thinking is not yet reflected in the Administration's budget priorities.

For example, in the 2002 budget for the Energy Department, funding for renewable energy R&D is down 37.2% from current levels, and for energy conservation it is off 22.8% (C&EN, April 23, page 39). In contrast, the Clean Coal Technology Initiative gets an 800% boost to $150 million. Coal--whether clean or not--gives off twice as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy as natural gas.

The speech, which occurred just hours before Bush left on his first trip to Europe since becoming President, elicited strong, mostly negative, reactions from European nations.

Swedish Environment Minister Kjell Larsson, representing the European Union (EU) presidency, said: "Abandoning the Kyoto protocol would mean postponing international action to address climate change for years--and we are already late. We cannot accept this."

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change laid out the principle of "common, but differentiated, responsibilities," which means developed countries should take action first to reduce emissions.
"The EU is convinced that scientific evidence, as laid down by the [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and confirmed by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, is solid enough to warrant concrete and urgent action," the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.

In contrast to Bush's dire economic predictions, the European Climate Change Program, a part of the EC, published a report last week which claims that the EU can reach its Kyoto target--an 8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2012--at an annual cost of only about 0.06% of gross domestic product.

Not all the reaction to the President's speech was negative. "By proposing a series of positive domestic and international initiatives to address climate change, the President is helping to lead the world out of the Kyoto quagmire and toward an effective global response to this complex challenge," said Glenn F. Kelly, executive director of the Global Climate Coalition, which represents the fossil fuel and chemical industries.

"Any so-called solution--the Kyoto protocol--that exempts 134 developing nations, including China, the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is doomed to failure," Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) said.

But Nancy Kete, director of the climate, energy, and pollution program at the World Resources Institute, points out that when Bush insists that China and India should commit to binding targets at the same time as industrialized countries, he is directly contradicting the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty his father signed in 1992.

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) says Bush is "taking precipitous and dangerous actions that will have enormous implications for America's ability to resolve the environmental challenge of climate change."

[Previous Story] [Next Story]


Chemical & Engineering News
Copyright © 2001 American Chemical Society

Home | Table of Contents | News of the Week | Cover Story
Business | Government & Policy | Science/Technology
Chemical & Engineering News
Copyright © 2001 American Chemical Society - All Right Reserved
1155 16th Street NW • Washington DC 20036 • (202) 872-4600 • (800) 227-5558

CASChemPortChemCenterPubs Page