The only real measure to counter climate change: wait for Bush to go

Simon Retallack, a senior research fellow on climate change policy at the Institute for Public Policy Research, Britain’s largest thinktank, thinks that trying to engage the US in the negotiations on climate change is actually doing more harm than anything else to these negotiations. The reason is that the US is spreading false rumors, manipulating and arm twisting some countries to stall the negotiations. His advice is: wait for Bush to go and try to build momentum in the US for mandatory cuts on gaz emissions.
''A few countries are getting most of the blame for this state of affairs. At the top of the list of course is the US, with rumours flying that Bush officials are using hard-ball tactics, from arm-twisting to irresistible persuasion, to get other countries to do their dirty work for them in obstructing progress. There have been stories of a US meeting with Brazilian officials to get them on board which was so top secret that US Congressional delegates were told to keep out. There are also suspicions that the US is spreading false rumours that the EU wants developing countries to take on emission-reductions targets, which could drive them into the hands of the US and away from the EU on important issues.
But the finger of criticism is also being pointed at Canada and the EU, and within it particularly the UK, as current EU chair, and Italy, which has a mind of its own on climate change. They stand accused of a fundamental error in strategy: focussing their efforts on engaging the US when the Bush administration clearly is not only uninterested but is taking a wrecking ball to the whole process. Watering down any agreement to appease the US in these circumstances would hardly seem to be a productive approach

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Since March 29th 2006