Positive Environment News

US Says Misunderstood on Climate Change Policy

Date: 11-May-04
Country: BELGIUM

President Bush's decision in 2001 to reject the Kyoto pact on cutting carbon dioxide emissions, believed to cause global warming, prompted fierce criticism around the world and hurt international relations on environmental issues.

"We use every opportunity that we can in many fora around the world to get our message out...We feel that people don't hear all that we are doing," senior climate change negotiator Harlan Watson told reporters ahead of a conference.

"We need to get our message out better," Watson added.

In a speech prepared for the Brussels conference, Watson outlined the Bush administration's policy on climate change, highlighting a commitment to reduce emissions growth.

He also highlighted cooperation between the United States and partners such as the European Union, which backs the Kyoto pact, aimed at advancing climate change science and technology.

While climate change is an issue of great interest to the European public, Watson said the environment was unlikely to play any role in Bush's presidential campaign against his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.

"Environment is really not a point. In the end, it is the economics and the Middle East in particular that is the focus of the American public," Watson said.

© Thomson Reuters 2004 All rights reserved

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