President George W. Bush will join the G8—an international forum comprised of the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—next week for the last time during his presidency as it meets for its yearly meeting on July 7-9.
During his tenure, President Bush has repeatedly stood in the way of progress on global warming and energy issues as other G8 countries have moved forward. With a new president taking office in January 2009, the administration will have a lot of ground to make up. If we’re going to effectively tackle global warming, the United States—the leader only in level of emissions—will have to move out of last place in setting and reaching key emission reduction goals.
The Kyoto Accord
The United States is the only G8 country not to have signed the Kyoto Accord, the international framework ratified by almost 200 countries with the goal of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.
Signed Kyoto: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom
Not Signed Kyoto: United States
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Goals
The United States is the only G8 country not to set any carbon dioxide emission reduction goals.
Fuel Economy Standards
The United States has set by far the longest time frame for meeting vehicle efficiency standards, and has set one of the least ambitious goals compared to other G8 countries.
Per Capita Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2005
Despite making only minimal effort to curb emissions and increase efficiency, the United States emits more metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita than any other G8 country.