Sunday

24th Jan 2021

Bush to sell new climate deal at G8 summit

  • George W. Bush celebrated his 59th birthday in Denmark (Photo: EUobserver)

US president George Bush is set to present G8 leaders in Scotland today (6 July) with a new climate strategy to control green house gasses better and help solve the world’s climate problems.

"Listen, the United States for national security reasons and economic security needs to diversify away from fossil fuels. So we put out a strategy to do just that. I can't wait to share it with our G8 friends", Mr Bush said at a press conference in Copenhagen ahead of the summit.

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The new US climate strategy includes an investment of over $20 bn (€17 bn) in developing new technologies to control green house gasses, according to the US president.

Americans consume most energy

The initiative comes as the US finds itself under growing pressure to reduce its contribution to global warming and consume less energy.

Accounting for only five percent of the world's population, Americans are estimated to consume 26 percent of the world's energy.

In contrast the EU has long been a global leader on anti-global warming policies, including starting talks to decide what should happen after the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012.

But the US is also set to jump on the scene of this debate.

Something needs to be done to solve global climate problems, the president admitted today in Copenhagen.

"I recognise the surface of the Earth is warmer, and that an increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans is contributing to the problem", he said.

Post-Kyoto era

The US always refused to sign up to the Kyoto commitments, which would have ‘wrecked’ the American economy and ‘put a lot of people out of work’, according to president Bush.

"I think there is a better way forward. I would call it the post-Kyoto era where we can work together to share technologies to control green house gases as fast as possible", Mr Bush said.

"Kyoto didn’t work for the United States. And frankly it didn’t work for the world. The reason it didn’t work for the world is that many developing nations were not included in it", he told journalists ahead of the G8 summit.

President Bush added he had no doubts "we would be driving in a different kind of automobile within a reasonable period of time".

The G8 summit leaders gather later today in Scotland. Besides the eight countries - the UK, the US, Russia, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada - India and China are also to be present.

Happy Birthday

The US president stopped over in Denmark on a 17-hour short private visit ahead of the summit.

Accompanied by his wife Laura Bush and daughter Jenna, George Bush celebrated his 59th birthday in Denmark.

The Tivoli Boys' Guard entertained Mr Bush in the early morning playing "Happy Birthday" while prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen served a special Danish birthday cake at the Marienborg castle north of Copenhagen.

"I can strongly recommend Danish birthday cakes", said Mr Bush before discussing long-standing Danish-American relations and the country's support for the war in Iraq.

Fresh opinion polls ahead of the visit suggested only 13 percent of the Danes agree with US foreign policies but Mr Bush shrugged off the criticism saying there are too many opinion polls.

"It's a growth industry", he said and added that relying on surveys in politics "is like the dog chasing it’s own tail".

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