A step in the right direction – that was Angela Merkel’s reaction to the US President’s new strategy on tackling global warming. It comes a week ahead of a G8 summit hosted by Germany in which climate change will be high on the agenda:
“I think it’s positive that President Bush’s speech shows that nobody can ignore the issue, nor the fact that it’s basically caused by humanity,” Merkel said. “That is the common ground we know have to act upon.”
But she also expressed the hope that Bush’s strategy would evolve to become part of UN efforts.
Elsewhere, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that for the first time it showed the US wanted to be part of a global approach. George Bush’s proposal stresses new technologies rather than emission caps. He has called for a meeting of the world’s big polluters:
“By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long term global goal for reducing green house gases,” he said in a speech. “To develop this goal the United States will convene a serious meeting of nations that produce most greenhouse gas emissions, including nations with rapidly growing economies, like India and China.”
But some environmental groups have slammed the plans as a smokescreen to deflect criticism from the Bush administration over its refusal to accept any carbon emission reductions.