Amsterdam: March 14th 2001: Greenpeace reacted with shock today at US President George Bush’s abrupt decision to back off from campaign promises to cut carbon dioxide emissions from US power stations. His pre-election pledge was reiterated just last week by newly appointed US Environmental Protection Agency Head Christine Whitman at the G8 Environment Minister’s Summit in Trieste, Italy. Her remarks led the meeting to believe that the new US administration was serious about tackling climate change, and she specifically mentioned the limits on power plant emissions as a US commitment to take domestic action to fight global warming.
“When you put two oil men in the White House, I guess this is what you have to expect”, said Greenpeace Climate Policy Director Bill Hare, referring to George Bush’s history as a Texas oil man, and Vice President Dick Cheney’s long career in the oil services industry. “Apparently Mrs. Whitman’s environmentally responsible position has not carried the day, and we can expect the Neanderthal, head-in-the-sand rhetoric of Bush to prevail in this administration.”
President Bush appears to be rejecting the worldwide scientific consensus on global warming and its causes, particularly the three recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the science and impacts of climate change, and the economics of fighting it. “Bush appears to be listening to extreme "Flat Earth" minority viewpoints on the science”, said Bill Hare.
Greenpeace emphasised that this development reinforces the need for the European Union and others to accelerate their efforts towards ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
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