G8 Confirms Need for Pollution Reduction; Pressure Builds for Action at Home

Statement by Nicole St. Clair, spokeswoman, Natural Resources Defense Council.

GLENEAGLES, Scotland (July 8, 2005) -- "Despite intense lobbying over the last few weeks, President Bush was unable to hold back world action to reduce global warming pollution.

"The G8 Communique on Global Warming includes a pledge that all the countries will act 'with resolve and urgency' to meet the objective of 'reducing greenhouse gas emissions.'

"The seven other members of the G8 also reaffirmed their commitment to mandatory pollution reductions, specifically re-emphasizing their support for the Kyoto Protocol. That language was intensely opposed by the Bush Administration.

"The other G8 countries rejected the President's claim that mandatory pollution limits would 'wreck' their economies and are moving forward with cutting emissions.

"President Bush is increasingly isolated at home and abroad in his opposition to mandatory pollution cuts. In recent weeks, prominent U.S. Republicans, Democrats, and business leaders have called for mandatory limits on U.S. global warming pollution --over strenuous White House objection.

"Last month a majority of the U.S. Senate, including key Republicans and Democrats previously opposed to pollution cuts, called for 'mandatory market-based limits' to 'slow, stop, and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.'

"California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announced major mandatory pollution reduction targets for their states.

"U.S. business leaders -- including the heads of General Electric and several major electric power producers -- have also called for action, realizing that voluntary efforts and modest government R&D programs won't do the job.

"In some ways, the communique is a stalemate. President Bush has not embraced a mandatory program to reduce global warming pollution, while the other countries rejected the U.S. insistence on only a voluntary approach.

"What's clearly emerged is that the Administration can no longer turn back the clock on the science or persuade others to deny the need for real, mandatory action to reduce global warming pollution. His energy would be better spent working cooperatively at home and abroad to set the real pollution limits needed to solve global warming and unleash 21st century energy solutions."