Bush’s G-8 Greenwash

President Bush today is getting a fresh round of favorable headlines for announcing this ahead of next week’s summit of the powerful G-8 nations:

By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term global goal for reducing greenhouse gases. To help develop this goal, the United States will convene a series of meetings of nations that produce most greenhouse gas emissions, including nations with rapidly growing economies like India and China.

Sounds nice, almost like he wants one of them Kyoto treaties. Except that on Wednesday, Reuters reported:

President George W. Bush is under pressure from European allies to give ground on climate change at next week’s meeting of the world’s richest countries, but policy experts say prospects for a breakthrough are slim.

The sticking point is Bush’s longstanding opposition to measurable goals for reducing emissions of the greenhouse gases that spur global warming. …

As negotiators try to hammer out the final language in a communique, the United States has blocked an emerging consensus in favor of firm targets.

Gristmill’s David Roberts also makes that point in his blog today, and adds:

Two things are accomplished by setting things up so that China and India have veto power over a final agreement: 1) you won’t get any binding targets, and 2) you establish that China and India are obligated to pledge greenhouse gas reductions equal to the U.S. and other developed countries, despite the fact that the developed countries are responsible for the vast bulk of the greenhouse gas already in the atmosphere, and still far exceed China and India in per-capita emissions. The last thing Bush wants is for the world to agree that the developed countries owe a greater commitment based on economic and social justice concerns.

So we could have a major breakthrough right now, establishing firm targets for the eight nations that contribute nearly half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But instead, the White House is proposing more talking, while making it sound like a bold proposal. That way, when nothing of substance comes out of the G-8 summit, Bush can avoid being blamed for being obstructionist.

Another trademark greenwash from the Bush administration.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.