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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bush Beats Gore (Again) at Bali Climate Change Conference

The Bush administration won the battle between establishing an arbitrary 25% reduction or relying on technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the recent climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia. This conference is the beginning of the second stage of global climate talks to extend climate change programs from the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2012. Signatories to the protocol will not achieve their current emissions reductions targets by the deadline so it would appear that establishing even more stringent targets would be continuing a failed program. AAEA supports the technological approach over the hard target approach.

Our bet is that Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman James Connaughton led the fight to avoid setting arbitrary limits of 25-40 percent. Connaughton is being practical because he knows China and India will never agree to hard targets so would never sign such an agreement. And without these two countries any climate change agreement is useless and doomed to failure. Moreover, the American public will not accept any plan that requires a reduction in our standard of living or placing any kind of limit on our economic growth. That is why President Bush did not support the Kyoto Protocol. (More at The Washington Post, WP)

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