Friday, August 03, 2007

Will anyone come to Bush's climate party?

I blogged about the run up to the G8 summit, where a big story was the pressure being put on Bush to do something about global warming. Blair tried his best to prod his ally. Bush made a big phony speech the week before and announced he would call his own summit of the world's CO2 emitters. Nothing came out of the G8 meeting itself.

Well he's now made the formal invitations to this conference as reported in a Washington Post story by Michael Fletcher:
President Bush yesterday formally invited top officials from the world's leading economic powers to take part in a climate change summit aimed at establishing voluntary goals for lowering greenhouse gas emissions while sustaining growth.
Long wary of the effectiveness of global environmental agreements, Bush tried to seize the initiative on global warming with his pledge to initiate a series of meetings to set flexible, long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He said his approach would allow countries to find their own best paths to reducing pollution.

In other words, Bush wants to spread internationally the "voluntary" program he advocates for U.S. businesses. This will accomplish nothing. Actually it might give the illusion something is being done and hold off real solutions which is worse then just continuing to be quiet.

Mr. Fletcher was sure fooled:
The proposal marked a clear shift for Bush, who had come under international criticism for his opposition to participating in the Kyoto Protocol, a United Nations-led environmental agreement that expires in 2012.
. This is not a Kyoto-level of commitment to change so his opposition to that approach is intact.

China and India are invited and Secretary of State Rice will host.

Reuters has a longer article by Matt Spetalnik where Greenpeace also worries about the effect of the smoke and mirrors being set up:
John Coequyt, a policy analyst with Greenpeace, expressed concern the Washington conference would be used to "erode support for the process that's strengthening at the U.N."
Note the timing...
The talks, where the Bush administration will control the agenda, will take place three days after a U.N. summit on climate change in New York in which U.S. policy on global warming may come under sharp criticism.

And this just starts a process which is scheduled to finish after Bush leaves office.

The White House said the U.S. meeting was meant to supplement, not upstage, ongoing international initiatives.
Yes I'm sure thats the only intent.

Its simple: any effort which doesn't start with binding, mandatory cuts in emissions is not a serious attempt to address this problem.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress also thinks there's not much here.

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