Saturday, September 10, 2005

UK : Deputy PM takes Kyoto swipe at US

British deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has criticised the US's record on combating global warming in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans.

In a speech in Berlin, Mr Prescott took a swipe at the US government, which has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Mr Prescott drew a parallel between New Orleans and "at risk" island states. Mr Prescott stressed his "compassion" for the US, but said President Bush's administration had been "wrong" not to join Britain and other leading industrial nations in supporting the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

"I want to take this opportunity to express our solidarity and compassion after the havoc of Hurricane Katrina. As a European negotiator at the Kyoto climate change convention, I was fully aware that climate change is changing weather patterns and raising sea levels," he said.

The horrific flood of New Orleans brings home to us the concern of leaders of countries like the Maldives .But the US government has been reluctant to accept that human activity is to blame.

In his speech, Mr Prescott also hailed the US city mayors who had ignored their federal government's position and had taken action locally to limit carbon emissions. He said: "On a recent visit to the United States, I was delighted to see that city mayors are taking their own environmental initiative on Kyoto.

"This year, 178 mayors, representing over 36 million Americans have signed up to the goals of Kyoto - along with 60 mayors from cities like London, Shanghai, Moscow and Rio who have agreed to take 21 practical actions on energy waste, urban design, health water and transport."
He continued: "The horrific flood of New Orleans brings home to us the concern of leaders of countries like the Maldives, whose nations are at risk of disappearing completely.

"I'm proud that Britain has already achieved its Kyoto target on greenhouse gas emissions - six years ahead of time, with a growing economy."

source BBC:

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