US Wants To Conclude Climate Deal Before G8
In a bid to conclude talks before the G8 summit in Japan, the US has said that it is accepting binding international obligations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions so long as other nations do the same.
It’s a continuation of the line President Bush set out around a year ago and which hasn’t inspired much confidence. The fact that this news has reached the press is hopeful. Two environmental advisors to President Bush, James Connaughton and Daniel Price told a press conference in Paris that the US is hoping that the biggest developing countries China, India and Brazil are committing to reducing greenhouse gases.
“The US is prepared to enter into binding international obligations to reduce greenhouse gases as part of a global agreement in which all major economies similarly undertake binding international obligations,” the BBC quoted Price as saying.
Price is the President’s deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. The White House plans aim to eliminate world tarriffs with the aim of increasing global trade in clean energy technologies and services. Price said that a jump of 14% per year is a measure that will yield results soon.
“Europe and the US could turn out the lights today, and come 2030 or 2050 we would not have addressed the problem of climate change,” he added. This line of thinking was initiated by President Bush who envisages negotiations between 17 countries to reduce greenhouse gas output. These countries account for about 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The suggestion seems to be that some countries commit to firm emissions targets while others will display energy efficiency gains. Experts think this is not an option because it’s a slap dash solution for results in a 40 years time frame.
“The White House knows that taking a binding target of comparable size [to that taken by the US or EU] is neither a negotiating option nor a physical possibility for the Chinese government,” a Pew environmentalist told BBC News. Recently, a study presented at the summit of world leaders at Davos showed that the US ranks below India and just above China, measured in terms of environmental and social factors.
It’s studies like these that are causing an outcry internationally. The US has hitherto focused its environmental effort on clean air mostly and is an immense underperformer at greenhouse gas combating. The US policy makers weren’t really impervious to the international criticism, it seems. Price lashed out at the EU, saying it should stop “berating the US to do more”. Instead, people should work with developing countries to get their act together, Price said. OK then, let’s take a deep breath together then, shall we?