Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Bush: US to halt greenhouse gas rise by 2025

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 16, 2008
President George W. Bush Wednesday called for US greenhouse gas emissions to be curtailed from 2025, but was roundly accused of doing too little, too late against climate change.

Despite having abandoned the Kyoto treaty on global warming, Bush said the world's biggest polluting nation had shown it was serious about reducing growth in planet-heating gases such as carbon dioxide.

"Today, I am announcing a new national goal: to stop the growth of US greenhouse gas emissions by 2025," he said in a speech, without giving specific targets by which to reduce the emissions.

Bush said to reach the 2025 goal, "we will need to more rapidly slow the growth of power-sector greenhouse gas emissions so that they peak within 10 to 15 years, and decline thereafter."

But he did not detail new legal mandates on industry to bring down emissions, and warned Congress against passing new legislation that might "impose tremendous costs on our economy and American families."

Bush instead extolled the promise of new technology to clean up gas emissions, older technology like nuclear power and "clean coal," and a previously announced target to make US vehicles more fuel efficient.

The president's address, delivered in brilliant spring sunshine in the White House Rose Garden, came on the eve of a meeting of the world's major polluters in France Thursday and Friday.

Ministers from 16 economies that together account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are gathering in Paris for the "Major Economies Meeting," the third in a series launched last September by Bush.

Kyoto's binding commitments, which Bush has rejected, expire in 2012. The president came belatedly to the climate change cause, and now stands accused of trying to ram through a diluted new regime that will focus on voluntary action rather than mandatory cuts.

Elizabeth Bast, director of international programs with Friends of the Earth, said Bush's 2025 goal was "clearly not enough to deal with the problem."

"It's definitely too little and way too late, after eight years of doing nothing," she told AFP.

"It's an effort to sidetrack what's going on in the international negotiations, and the rest of the world shouldn't be influenced by this given that the US administration is going to change soon."

The Sierra Club, the largest US environmental group, said Bush's plan to halt emissions growth was "woefully deficient."

"Scientists tell us that we need to cut total emissions at least 15-20 percent by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050, in order to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming," executive director Carl Pope said.

But Bush, having rejected Kyoto for its failure to apply binding gas targets on fast-growing China and India, said the United States would not take unilateral action that imperils US industry and jobs.

The United States supports a post-Kyoto regime that encompasses every major economy "and gives none a free ride," the president said, looking forward to climate change talks at a Group of Eight summit in Japan in July.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, said Bush had flunked the climate change challenge in his final year in office.

Pelosi said Bush should back efforts in Congress to "cap and trade" greenhouse gas emissions, along with individual efforts of states like California that his administration has fought in the courts.

"As we are honored by the visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the president should heed his warnings about our moral responsibility to act, calling for a 'strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible'," she said.

James Connaughton, chairman of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, said Bush was focused on realistic goals rather than "fancy rhetoric."

"I challenge any critic ... to show us a path that gets us further and faster than the president has proposed in a way that doesn't harm our economy," he told reporters.

related report
Greenhouse gases dropped 1.1 percent in US in 2006: agency
The US Environmental Protection Agency said greenhouse gases emissions in the country dropped 1.1 percent from 2005 to 2006, chiefly due to less fuel and electricity use, a warm winter and a cool summer.

Greenhouse gases blamed for global warming increased overall 14.7 percent in the United States between 1990-2006, while the economy in the same period grew 59 percent, the EPA said Tuesday in its annual report.

The 2005-2006 drop in emissions "was due primarily to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption," it said.

A warmer than usual winter also led to lower heating fuel consumption, and a cool summer reduced demand for electricity in air conditioners.

Rising gasoline prices also kept more cars off the road, and increased use of natural gas and renewable energies such as solar and wind power further reduced electricity consumption and coal burning by power plants, EPA said.

The agency released its findings as President George W. Bush on Wednesday called for capping the growth in US greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Despite having abandoned the Kyoto treaty on climate change, Bush said the United States had shown it was serious about reducing growth in planet-warming gases such as carbon dioxide.

He did not propose new legal mandates on industry to bring down emissions, and warned Congress against passing new legislation that might "impose tremendous costs on our economy and American families."

According to the EPA, total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases -- carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride -- in 2006 were equivalent to 7,054.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

The EPA report, "Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006," is submitted to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Bush 'can't support' climate bills in Congress: White House
Washington (AFP) April 14, 2008
US President George W. Bush is opposed to legislation being discussed in Congress to cap greenhouse gas emissions because the proposals would hurt the economy, his spokeswoman said Monday.

  • Big Tokyo quake would cause human gridlock: study
  • Disasters In Small Communities: Researchers Discuss How To Help
  • Raytheon Develops Advanced Concrete Breaking Technology For Urban Search And Rescue
  • Floods, cyclones, devastate southern Africa: UN

  • Bush: US to halt greenhouse gas rise by 2025
  • WWF Joins World's Leading Environment Proponents In CCS Call
  • Bush 'can't support' climate bills in Congress: White House
  • Bush to give speech on climate change: White House

  • Northrop Grumman Submits Proposal For GOES-R To NASA
  • Contract Signed For ESA's Sentinel-3 Earth Observation Satellite
  • General Dynamics AIS Completes Testing For GeoEye's Next-Gen Earth Imaging Satellite
  • Harris Ground System For GOES-R Weather Satellite On Display

  • Analysis: Iraq oil law a deal -- spokesman
  • Historic Alliance Calls For A National Task Force On Carbon Capture And Storage
  • Analysis: Reps. want old FutureGen back
  • The Greening Of Patent Litigation

  • China rejects human-to-human bird flu report
  • Human infects human with bird flu in China: study
  • Alligator Blood And Mud Help Fight Superbugs
  • Bird flu breaks out at Tibet poultry farm: China

  • Over-fished species go into evolutionary overdrive: study
  • Smithsonian Scientists Find Evidence That Could Rewrite Hawaii's Botanical History
  • Ancient Dragon Has Space-Age Skull
  • Insects Evolved Radically Different Strategy To Smell

  • Bikini Corals Recover From Atomic Blast
  • Olympics: Australia to test Beijing-bound athletes for asthma
  • 'Bin brother' tagging Australian rubbish
  • China mine spill blackens river with toxic slurry

  • Unconscious Decisions In The Brain
  • Plan Brokered By UCLA, USC Archaeologists Would Remove Roadblock To Mideast Peace
  • Scientists Find A Fingerprint Of Evolution Across The Human Genome
  • The Voyage To America

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement