Response to President Bush’s Remarks on Global Warming and the G8 Summit
President Bush’s do nothing policy on global warming continues despite our Allies’ best efforts to spur U.S. reductions. At next week’s G8 summit, Germany and our other allies will once again implore him to join them in slashing global warming pollution. President Bush’s speech today indicates that he will snub them again next week.
Our allies’ pleas for action add to the voices of many big corporations such as Dow, Shell, General Electric, and General Motors. These and other Fortune 500 companies endorsed a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in global warming pollution by 2050, the level scientists indicate that we must reach to stave off the worst impacts. Unfortunately, these appeals from his foreign and corporate allies continue to fall on President Bush’s deaf ears.
Since President Bush was sworn in, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have increased by over 168 million metric tons. It would have been higher if not for the 2001 recession and unseasonably mild weather in 2006. His faith-based program of voluntary measures to reduce pollution has failed. Meanwhile, every day the planet is closer to a human made catastrophe of biblical scale.
Congressional leaders are filling the leadership vacuum created by President Bush. They advocate reductions in pollution from vehicles, power plants, and other sources via investments in clean energy alternatives such as wind and solar, a boost in efficiency, and a cap and cut of pollution. Despite President Bush’s stubborn refusal to act, Congress must follow their leaders and adopt these policies to achieve energy independence to stop global warming. The future of the planet is at stake.
Look back on Monday for a series of proposals that the Center for American Progress will unveil in prelude to the G8 summit this week in Germany:
Denis McDonough and Rebecca Schultz argue that the industrialized world is in climate debt. Industrialized nations have caused the current climate crisis, and they therefore have an obligation to both enact measures to reduce their own emissions and help developing nations implement cleaner technologies.
Benjamin Goldstein examines the snags and successes of Europe’s cap-and-trade system and the lessons learned, which the United States can profit from as it looks to implement its own program.
Jake Caldwell discusses the key role that the Doha Round can play in boosting clean energy and economic opportunity in developing countries and around the world, and argues that G8 countries should work to jump start negotiations.
Todd Stern proposes the creating of a new E8, akin to the group of eight, that would focus on environmental issues and include the United States, European Union, Russia, India, Japan, China, and South Africa.
And Peter Ogden highlights the need for discussions on global energy security that go hand in hand with global warming talks.
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