Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


He's Been A Green Bush All Along

9 Feb 2007 (TODAY)

President said to have made climate change a priority since taking office
in 2001

WASHINGTON - The White House on Wednesday issued a rare open letter
defending United States President George W Bush's record on climate
change, rejecting criticisms that he has only recently awakened to the
problem of global warming.

The letter rejected media reports following the recent release of a United
Nations report on climate change that, it said, perpetuate the claim that
Mr Bush's interest in the issue is new. "In fact, climate change has been
a top priority since the President's first year in office," the letter

"Beginning in June 2001, President Bush has consistently acknowledged
climate change is occurring and humans are contributing to the problem,"
it said, adding excerpts from speeches in 2001 and 2002 as evidence.
"President Bush committed the US to continued leadership on the issue and,
since 2001, has dedicated nearly US$29 billion ($44.4 billion) to advance
climate-related science, technology, international assistance, and
incentive programmes. This is far more than any other nation."

But the letter coincided with hearings in Congress during which experts
and politicians accused the Bush administration of repressing public
debate about global warming.

Environmentalists have alleged since Mr Bush took office in 2001 that his
administration has ignored and tried to hide looming evidence of global
warming and how much humans have exacerbated the situation. The UN climate
change report issued last week concluded that human activity was
principally responsible for climate change. The report was also strongly
critical of Mr Bush's refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on global
warming, which he has criticised as excessively flawed.

While climate change has rarely been mentioned in Mr Bush's major policy
speeches, he noted "the serious challenge of global climate change" in his
annual State of the Union speech on Jan 23, as he introduced a programme
to advance energy conservation and diversification.

The White House letter argued that the US' performance on cutting
emissions of greenhouse gases, which contributes to global warming "is
among the best in the world". "According to the International Energy
Agency, from 2000 to 2004, as our population increased and our economy
grew by nearly 10 per cent, US carbon dioxide emissions increased by only
1.7 per cent," it added. - AFP

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