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President Bush Proposes Developing International Goal by End of 2008 for Greenhouse Gas Reduction

31 May 2007

During a speech today focusing on the US international development agenda, President Bush announced that the US will work with other nations “to establish a new framework on greenhouse gas emissions for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The President proposed convening a series of meetings of the US and the other nations that produce the most greenhouse gases—including India and China—to develop by the end of 2008 a long-term global goal for greenhouse gas reduction. The end of 2008 is also the Administration’s current target for developing federal regulations that will reduce gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. (Earlier post.)

In addition to this long-term global goal, each country would establish midterm national targets, and programs that reflect their own mix of energy sources and future energy needs. Over the course of the next 18 months, our nations would bring together industry leaders from different sectors of our economies, such as power generation and alternative fuels and transportation. These leaders will form working groups that will cooperate on ways to share clean energy technology and best practices.

It’s important to ensure that we get results, and so we will create a strong and transparent system for measuring each country’s performance. This new framework would help our nations fulfill our responsibilities under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United States will work with all nations that are part of this convention to adapt to the impacts of climate change, gain access to clean and more energy-efficient technologies, and promote sustainable forestry and agriculture.

—President Bush

President Bush emphasized the importance that he places on technology, specifically noting work in solar and wind energy; advanced coal technologies; and nuclear energy. For the transportation sector, the President noted work being done with hybrids; plug-in hybrids; advanced diesel engines; biodiesel; cellulosic ethanol; and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. He also referred to his proposed mandatory renewable fuel standard of 35 billion gallons annually by 2017. (Earlier post.)

The United States is taking the lead, and that’s the message I’m going to take to the G8... At the G8 Summit, I’m going to encourage world leaders to increase their own investments in research and development... I'm looking forward to discussing ways to encourage more investment in developing nations by making low-cost financing options for clean energy a priority of the international development banks.

We’re also going to work to conclude talks with other nations on eliminating tariffs and other barriers to clean energy technologies and services by the end of year. If you are truly committed to helping the environment, nations need to get rid of their tariffs, need to get rid of those barriers that prevent new technologies from coming into their countries. We’ll help the world’s poorest nations reduce emissions by giving them government-developed technologies at low cost, or in some case, no cost at all.

—President Bush

The President’s announcement came shortly after the US rejected the European Union’s two-degree target for climate change, whereby global temperatures would not be allowed to increase more than 2° C this century. Meeting that target would result in reductions in emissions of about 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The announcement also came in the wake of the publication of national data submitted to the UN Climate Change Secretariat showing that overall greenhouse gas emissions from G8 nations rose 2.0% from 2000 to 2005, and are up 0.7% since 1990, the Kyoto Protocol base year. Among G8 nations, Russia, Italy and Canada have all logged bigger increases than the 1.6% US gain since 2000.

The revival of the Russian economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union is a significant source of the increase. Only Britain, Germany and France have reduced greenhouse gas emissions since 2000. Since 1990, however, US emissions have increased 16.3%, the second worst behind Canada.

In a White House press conference following the speech, Jim Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, provided additional details regarding the Administration’s plan and approach.

The overall concept is to have a long-term “aspirational goal”, Connaughton said, with each country developing national strategies for the first phase of trying to meet the goal. Some of those national strategies may be regulatory and binding, some may not.

In those national strategies, I’ll give the American example. We now have mandatory fuel economy standards, and those are binding. We have mandatory renewable power standards at the state level; those are binding. The President has called on new fuel standards and new auto-efficiency standards. Europe is doing the same thing. They’ve got sort of a European direction, but each of the European member states sets their own binding national programs.

... China has made a national commitment to improve the energy efficiency of their economy by 20% by 2010. That’s a very consequential commitment. They’re going to achieve that through a wide array of programs. Some of them are quite dramatically regulatory. That’s exactly what we’d like to see China do, but they retain sovereignty—they get to decide on the right mix, rather than us telling them what the mix should be.

—Jim Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality

Connaughton said that the US and Germany had been having a lengthy discussion on climate change and energy security that will result in a text coming out of the G8 Summit next week.

May 31, 2007 in Climate Change, Policy | Permalink | Comments (33) | TrackBack (0)

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This guy is the most disengenuous *%$^#@* fraud. I have seen in a long time. Now he wants to jump on the global warming bandwagon to leave a legacy after dismantalling every environmental initiative of the last 100 years while in office. We should impeach him first, and then get an agreement, just so he can's claim credit, but we don't delay action.

First he wanted to claim the hydrogen economy because hydrogen was getting news. Then he wanted to go to Mars because the Rover was creating a buzz. Oh yes, all this after jumping on the national security bandwagon and starting a pointless war. I guess if Elvis is sighted again, he will be there.

The overall concept is to have a long-term “aspirational goal”

'Nuff said.

No point in impeaching him now, he's pretty much a lame duck anyway, better not to take attention from the search for a replacement. The good news is that there are some intelligent and knowledgeable candidates in both parties so there's a fairly good chance of getting someone reasonable this time out. The bad news is that whoever gets in will have a huge mess to clean up (military and budgetary). It's encouraging to remember that arguably one of the worst US presidents (James Buchanan) was followed by one of the best (Abe Lincoln). Let's hope history repeats itself (minus the civil war).

Besides being an insane dumb@$$ Bush is a politician that means that no matter what if opinion poll are high enough for an issue he going to flip-flop to support it, at least claim to support it. Even though the man believes we should burn and kill what ever we want because the apocalypses is coming any day now, political and public pressure is forcing him to make an appearances that he gives a dam about global warming.

"Taking the lead" hmmmmm. So we've got a year and a half of yet more discussions before any action is actually taken. You've got to admire his gumption! What a joker.

Yeh, we really need to dick around another couple of years discussing the problem. We already have legislation and international initiatives that Bush could adopt; instead his new strategy is to run out the clock.

The clock is ticking; it may already be too late. But in any event, James Hansen gives us less than ten years to reverse the growth in emissions. We can't waste another two years discussing goals that won't be turned into mandates. Europe should set mandatory goals. If the U.S. doesn't sign up then they should impose sanctions.

President Bush has had his head shoved up his arse too long to give the least credence to a word he says.

"The United States is taking the lead, and that’s the message I’m going to take to the G8... "

This guy is nuts, plain and simple. He creates his own version of "reality".

I can understand that the US is reluctant to make hard commitments unless China and India do so as well. The rest of the world's earnest efforts won't amount to a hill of beans if those three nations continue to sit on their hands.

Nevertheless, Pres. Bush has had six years to try and coax the other two into the type of talks he is advocating now. The reason he didn't is simple: he doesn't subscribe to the notion that the US consumer/voter should change his energy-profligate ways one iota to make room for the emerging giants. Even he is now acknowledging that global warming is real; he certainly appears to be aware of the coming fuel supply crunch in the transportation sector.

What is lacking is an understanding of the free rider problem: no-one wants to be the sucker that cuts back just so Americans can continue to live it up. And US consumers will not change their ways unless they conclude they have no choice, either because of structurally high prices for e.g. fuel or, because of binding legislation.

The time for wishy-washy talking about maybe talking is over. I hope the other G8 leaders have the courage to let the climate portion of the Heiligendamm summit fail because Pres. Bush - a opposed to the American people - won't play ball.

One might argue that he's jumping on the bandwagon now because the technologies for alternative fuels and carbon neutral energy sources are starting to become profitable.

Follow the money ... look what's happening to the capitol gain taxes around 2008 ;-)

The blog on CBS News had Rove behind this latest conversion. He is low in the polls, so why not claim that you were always for something that is popular.


Here is a fact fer ya. Please do some research before responding.

FACT: President Bush has allocated more money to alternative or renewable fuels than any president in US history. To include President Clinton and President Carter combined!

It is sad to say but this is a 100% true statement.

Same old Bush - reject everybody else's plan and bring in your own. This is the same "my way or the highway" sh;t we've had to put up with since he got in.

Joesph,

Actually that because there has been more legislation and demand for alternative energy then any other time in history, and politicians only do things that they are yelled at to do. Bush though's all talked and little action, many times the action is in the opposite direction even:
http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=23074
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0OXD/is_2005_Feb_15/ai_n11841959
http://www.energybulletin.net/14102.html
http://www.pbs.org/nbr/site/onair/transcripts/060221c/
http://usliberals.about.com/b/a/240717.htm
I can keep posting links reporting on how the man talks out of his arse if you want?

This is what these politicians said 7 years ago, about including China and India.

No matter what they said, green movement continues to proceed at a brisk pace. Australia, Canada and Holland have planned to phase out all Incandescent bulbs
with Fluorescent bulbs in the next few years.

New York City plans to phase out all non-hybrid taxis with hybrids by 2012.
The good news here is that the Hybrid vehicles have set a record sales for May-2007.
Toyota & Ford alone have sold 39,315 hybrids.

Prius 24,009
Camry-H 6,853
Highlander-H 3,312

RX400h 1,746
GS450h 181
Toyota Total 36,101

Escape 2,680
Mariner 534
Ford Total 3,214

Total of 2 39,315

Bush's 'new climate strategy'
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/5/31/104322/961

Note:

Bush is saying
1. He doesn't want binding targets, he wants volunteer "goals".
2. Bush strongly rejected targets
3. Bush wants to delay negotiations till the end of 2009
4. Bush wants India and China to have veto power over the negotitation, since the way they see it. "You made the mess, you clean it up."
i.e. They won't have none of it unless the US leads by example by going first.
5. Bush wants to push "Clean" Coal, and Nuclear on other nations.
_

More or less, Bush's new position
Are exactly the same as his old position.
Merely worded differently.

It's nice to see the GW Bush haters have something new to cry about! If all you due is talk and whine about what the US Gov't and Big Business should be doing to clean-up the environment then shame on you as well. Just talking about an issue and then waiting for someone else to fit it doesn't cut it! What the heck did either Al Gore or Bill Clinton do about GHG issue when they where in office for eight damn years? Not a damn thing. If you don’t like America, please think about moving to either Cuba or Chavez -land!

Geo: A large number of the regular posters here are doing everything they can. I've traded in my car for an electric motorcycle, switched to LED and CFLs in the entire house, added insulation and purchased carbon offsets for everything else. We just want our governments (of whatever party) to do as much as we do. Bush isn't America so don't confuse criticism of one with lack of affection for the other. The American people don't have to move, they can just elect someone who's different.

GeoLopez,

Let me get this strait: just because we are cynical about Bush's policies you assume we were/are not about Clinton’s (technically Gore never had the power to do anything so I can’t really criticize him). And to top it off you assume we don’t like America, and that we are either communist or bolivarian revolutionaries!

Us "GW Bush haters" will always have something new to cry about because Bush never stops giving us something new to cry about.

Maybe if you rapid, foaming-at-the-mouth Bush haters spent as much time actually offering solutions as opposed to throwing your vicious temper tantrums, maybe we'd get somewhere.

Solutions: Tax Gas to pay for rebates (bigger than the ones currently offered for SUVs) for V2G PHEVs and BEVs. Tax carbon to make alternate energy economics more attractive and elect a different president (moderate Republican or Democrat).

This is not very funny. Why talk about Kyoto II when US is not even a member of Kyoto I? We need some actions instead of talks.

Uhm actually lets see what did Clinton and Gore do.

1. Created the program that made hybrid cars happen
2. Signed the Kyoto Protocol

Thats a hell of a lot more than Bush has done.
Asside from pushing biofuels and hydrogen.

However both of which are absolutely fake options, which are only ment to distract away from real options.

Like CNG, Ultra Clean Diesels, Hybrids, and Electric Cars.

_

I will say however Bush speach writers are masters at semantic word games.
Makes you think they meant something that they didn't. Pleasing both sides.

For instance Bush's goal of reducing "Carbon Emmision Intensity".
http://greyfalcon.net/denial (Skip to section 11:20)

We don't need no stinking solutions...
we go the DECIDER!

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