Washington (July 23, 2001) - The agreement reached today by more than 170 countries in Bonn, Germany, signals that Europe, Japan and the rest of the world will move forward to ratify and implement the Kyoto Treaty, rejecting the Bush administration's efforts to kill it, said NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).
"The agreement reached today overwhelmingly rejects President Bush's attempt to scuttle the Kyoto global warming treaty," said David Doniger, policy director of NRDC's Climate Center. "It paves the way for treaty ratification and real action to reduce the heat-trapping pollution that threatens public health and natural ecosystems around the world." Doniger served on the climate treaty negotiating team during the Clinton administration.
President Bush's posture on global warming is at odds with public opinion at home, as well as abroad, Doniger pointed out. He is facing mounting pressure in Congress to cut global warming pollution from power plants and vehicles, and to enact a clean, efficient energy plan. "The breakthrough today will only strengthen the demand for action at home," Doniger said.
"We call on President Bush to rejoin international efforts to curb the pollution that causes global warming," said David Hawkins, director of NRDC's Climate Center. "Now that the rest of the world has signaled its commitment to act, the president needs to take a new look at his isolationist stance."
Dr. Daniel Lashof, the Climate Center's science director, added, "The president's unwillingness to act will cost American jobs and business, as we lose access to new markets for clean energy technologies. It will rob American farmers and foresters of credit for enhancing the carbon soaked up by soils, crops and trees. And it will saddle American consumers with both higher energy bills and more pollution."
Earlier this year, NRDC issued A Responsible Energy Policy for the 21st Century, which details how the United States can meet its energy needs by increasing reliance on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources rather than continuing our reliance on the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, coal and oil, or reviving the nuclear power option. In May, the group also issued Slower, Costlier and Dirtier: A Critique of the Bush Energy Plan.
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.