Bush: Nations should set CO2 policies

George Bush has told a climate change summit that countries must develop their own policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking at a meeting of the world’s top 16 polluters in Washington last week, the president acknowledged that climate change was a “great challenge” and said all nations must set a long-term goal to reduce emissions.

However, he continued to hint that the US would not commit to mandatory cuts and said environmental policies should allow economies to keep growing.

Addressing the summit on Friday, Mr Bush said: “Each nation must decide for itself the right mix of tools and technologies to achieve results that are measurable and environmentally effective.”

Critics were quick to condemn the approach outlined by Mr Bush, who has consistently rejected the Kyoto Protocol’s targets on reducing emissions.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “Voluntary goals set on a national basis are absolutely useless at delivering the kind of global emissions cuts needed to tackle climate change.

“George Bush has been forced to accept that climate change is the biggest issue in town, but we’ve yet to see any action from the US that matches either the scale of the threat or the obese size of their own CO2 emissions.”

In his speech, Mr Bush argued that the US has already made great strides to switch to green energy sources and has invested $18bn in research and development since he took office.

He said: “The United States will do our part. We take this issue seriously.

“And we look forward to bringing a spirit of cooperation and commitment to our efforts to confront the challenges of energy security and climate change.”

The president also announced that the US wants to begin talks with other countries to finance green energy projects in the developing world.

He said: “I propose that we join together to create a new international clean technology fund.

“This fund will be supported by contributions from governments around the world and it will help finance clean energy projects in the developing world.”

Kate Martin

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