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[greenyes] Administration Position on Eight Nation Effort to Curb Global Warming


washingtonpost.com
U.S. Wants No Warming Proposal
Administration Aims to Prevent Arctic Council Suggestions
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 4, 2004; Page A13


The Bush administration has been working for months to keep an upcoming
eight-nation report from endorsing broad policies aimed at curbing global
warming, according to domestic and foreign participants, despite the group's
conclusion that Arctic latitudes are facing historic increases in
temperature, glacial melting and abrupt weather changes.

State Department representatives have argued that the group, which has spent
four years examining Arctic climate fluctuations, lacks the evidence to
prepare detailed policy proposals. But several participants in the
negotiations, all of whom requested anonymity for fear of derailing the Nov.
24 report, said officials from the eight nations and six indigenous tribes
involved in the effort had ample science on which to draft policy.

The recommendations are based on a study, which was leaked last week, that
concludes the Arctic is warming much faster than other areas of the world
and that much of this change is linked to human-generated greenhouse gas
emissions. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment -- produced by a council of
nations with Arctic territory that includes the United States, Canada,
Russia and several Nordic countries -- reflects the work of more than 300
scientists.

Several individuals close to the negotiations said the Bush
administration -- which opposes mandatory cuts in carbon emissions on the
grounds that they will cost American jobs -- had repeatedly resisted even
mild language that would endorse the report's scientific findings or call
for mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.

An early draft of the policy statement -- which is set to be issued two
weeks after the 144-page scientific overview is released Monday -- included
a paragraph saying that to achieve the goals set under a 1992 international
climate change treaty known as the Rio Accord, the "Arctic Council urges the
member states to individually and when appropriate, jointly, adopt climate
change strategies across relevant sectors. These strategies should aim at
the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases."

The administration has pushed to drop that section. As one senior State
Department official who asked not to be identified put it, "We're bound by
the administration's position. We're not going to make global climate policy
at the Arctic Council."

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