Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bush Says Farewell to Blair with Empty Rhetoric on Climate Change

Tony Blair came to DC to say farewell. And make one final pitch for American cooperation on climate change. At a Rose Garden press conference within earshot of anti-war protesters beyond the White House gate, Bush's prepared remarks included this:
And we talked, of course, about climate change. We spent a lot of time on climate change. And I agree with the Prime Minister, as I have stated publicly, this is a serious issue, and the United States takes it seriously, just like we take energy security seriously.
As reported in the Independent of London,
As Tony Blair left Washington yesterday for his last visit as Prime Minister, the Bush administration was acting to scupper international efforts to combat climate change.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Mr Blair had basked in the apparent support of President George Bush for his stated aim of avoiding catastrophic global warming. But it seems his appeals have fallen on deaf ears. While Mr Bush was eulogising his friend in the White House rose garden, the President's delegation at a United Nations meeting in Bonn was working to stop any progress on setting up a carbon trading scheme and emissions caps.

Harlan Watson, President Bush's chief climate negotiator, rejected any caps on US emissions or participation in carbon trading. "That's not our agenda," he said.....

...away from the cameras, the US delegation to Bonn was scotching any prospect of the emissions caps and carbon trading that are needed to realise the rhetoric. "We don't believe targets and timetables are important, or a global cap and trade system," he said. "It's important not to jeopardise economic growth."
After his visit to Washington, Blair paid a farewell visit to Iraq. He was welcomed with mortar attacks that rocked the British HQ in Basra minutes after his remarks to British soldiers there.

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