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Friday, July 08, 2005

Bush Stops Efforts to Curb Global Warming

GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AP) --

The Group of Eight summit bowed to U.S. pressure on Friday by approving a declaration on climate change that avoided taking any concrete steps to fight global warming, such as setting targets or timetables for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The summit declined to embrace Prime Minister Tony Blair's proposal for promises of sharp reductions of pollutants that scientists say cause global warming.

It also failed to resolve a long-standing impasse over the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which the Bush administration has rejected but which the other G-8 members have ratified, binding them to reduction targets that are now in effect.

President Bush has questioned the existence of global warming, saying the protocol would have "wrecked" the U.S. economy. He objects to the fact that large developing nations such as China and India are exempt from it.

Blair, however, won a compromise at the G-8 summit by getting its members to agree to a new round of international talks on climate change — to be held in Britain in November — that will include wealthy nations and emerging economies.

French President Jacques Chirac, who has called global warming "a terribly menacing reality," said Friday that the G-8 leaders had achieved substantial results and that the agreement on climate change would ensure "indispensable dialogue" among nations.

But many environmental groups called the summit a failure on global warming and blamed it on the Bush administration.

"The G-8 leaders did not agree on a single concrete action to address climate change," said Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust. "President Bush did not budge one inch from the intransigent position he has taken on global warming ... and the White House staff worked nonstop for months to water any possible deal down."

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