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Marrakech Agreement Clears Last Hurdle For Global Warming Treaty;
World Prepares to Ratify Made-In-America Deal Without U.S. Participation
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO (November 10, 2001) - Diplomats from around the world today reached agreement on key legal and technical provisions of the Kyoto global warming treaty, clearing the last hurdle needed before the deal can be put into effect. The agreement means that a critical mass of countries is now ready to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and bring it into legal force next year.
"The rest of the world is going ahead without us," said David Doniger, policy director of NRDC's Climate Center. "The U.S. remains isolationist on global warming at a time when America's need for international cooperation has never been greater."
The Marrakech agreement builds on the breakthrough reached last July in Bonn, Germany, where more than 170 countries settled their major political differences and resolved to move ahead with the Kyoto Protocol even without the United States. President Bush rejected the treaty even though its main provisions were crafted by American negotiators.
Today's agreement establishes a fully-operational system for international emissions trading (modeled on the successful U.S. acid rain program), which will be the key to meeting the Kyoto Protocol's emissions targets at the lowest possible cost. Companies in industrial nations will also be able earn emissions credits by investing in cleaner energy projects in the developing world. The Marrakech agreement also includes the most rigorous emissions monitoring requirements and the strongest compliance regime ever adopted in an international environmental treaty.
"Ironically, the final agreement contains all the market-based tools that the U.S. had sought in order to keep our costs down," Doniger said. "The Bush administration has rejected a made-in-America agreement."
President Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001 at the same time that he abandoned his campaign promise to control carbon dioxide pollution from U.S. power plants. Despite repeated promises, the Bush administration has produced neither domestic nor international proposals for action against global warming. Legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants is beginning to move forward in the United States Senate over the administration's opposition.
"The U.S. causes one-fourth of the world's global warming emissions," Doniger said. "We have the solutions -- cleaner power plants, fuel-efficient cars, and energy saving technology that will save consumers billions of dollars. We should be taking action, both at home and abroad."
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
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