Greenwash Watch: Bush’s Empty G-8 Proposal

Today, President Bush 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 yesterday, 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.

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.

UPDATE: More from Gristmill’s David Roberts.


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