Positive Environment News

US Says its Ozone Bid Beats Kyoto on Climate Change

Date: 17-Sep-07
Country: BELGIUM
Author: Jeff Mason

James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on
Environmental Quality, said the United States would propose that
deadlines for phasing out HCFC gases, used in fridges and air
conditioners, be moved forward by 10 years.

"We're going to propose to significantly shorten the
timeline ... both because we can get the ozone benefits and
because these are very strong greenhouse gases," he told Reuters
in an interview.

"It would produce at least two times the reductions (in
greenhouse gases) than the Kyoto Protocol."

Bush pulled the United States out of Kyoto in 2001, arguing
the treaty would cost US jobs and that it wrongly excluded
poorer, developing nations from emissions-reduction targets.

The HCFCs proposal will come at a meeting of roughly 190
governments in Montreal next week. Washington seeks to move the
phase-out deadline for developed countries to 2020 from 2030 and
to 2030 from 2040 for developing nations.

The talks precede a United Nations climate change meeting in
New York later this month, followed by a conference in
Washington of major economic powers called by Bush to pursue an
agreement to follow the Kyoto Protocol, which goes through 2012.

Bush planned to address the Washington meeting and would
also attend a dinner hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon in New York to discuss global warming with other world
leaders on Sept. 24, Connaughton said.

Connaughton, who was touring EU capitals to prepare for the
conference, said the United States could not accept a system for
trading rights to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) like the one
established by the European Union and allowed under Kyoto.

"The design of the global cap and trade system has proven to
be horribly flawed," he said.

"The whole structure does not contain the incentive system
that cap and trade is intended to create."

He said the Washington meeting would seek "nationally
defined" strategies for fighting global warming, including
binding and non-binding measures.

"We would like to find consensus on a long-term global goal
for reducing emissions," he said.

He said EU plans to add domestic and international airlines
to its emissions trading scheme -- opposed by the United States
and other nations -- would violate World Trade Organisation
rules. "This battle is over before it begins," he said.

The European Union has set a target for itself to cut
greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990
levels, bumping that up to 30 percent if other nations agreed a
global cut.

© Thomson Reuters 2007 All rights reserved

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