By Daniel J. Weiss, Alexandra Kougentakis
President Bush will attend the last G8 summit of his presidency next week, concurrently with the Major Economies Meeting that includes eight other major emitters. An international agreement on global warming is once again at the top of the agenda for these meetings. But once again, the Bush administration plans to scuttle any concrete steps toward adopting binding greenhouse gas reductions.
Thomas Schieffer, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, where the G8 summit will occur this year, has already made it clear that the Bush administration will block any agreements on global warming. Once again, the United States will let its political allies—and economic competitors—reap the economic benefits of their programs to reduce global warming while it squanders the opportunity to begin the essential conversion from high-carbon to low-carbon energy sources and economy.
President Bush took office in 2001 having promised during the campaign to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. Within six weeks of taking the oath of office, he broke his pledge. He attended his first G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, determined to reject the Kyoto Protocol and block any global warming agreement. Bush rejected the evidence that global warming was real and caused by human activity. At every subsequent G8 meeting, he has refused to agree to any binding measures on greenhouse gas reductions. When the United States hosted the G8 summit in 2004, global warming was absent from the agenda altogether.
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