White House Says No Shift by Bush on Climate Change
COPENHAGEN President George W. Bush has not shifted his position on climate policy, a White House spokeswoman said on Tuesday ahead of the Group of Eight summit.
Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, the summit's host, said last week he had been having tough negotiations with the United States, the world's biggest polluter, before the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, which runs from July 6-8.
Washington has refused to ratify the co-called Kyoto Protocol on carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse effect.
In response to speculation in the British media that the U.S. administration was softening its stance ahead of the meeting, the spokeswoman said this was not the case.
"President Bush has stated his climate policy in 2001 and it remains the same," Michele St. Martin, a spokeswoman for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said from Washington.
"He believes that in order to address climate change it must be through the development and deployment of clean energy technologies," she said.
Bush will visit Denmark ahead of G8 talks, where climate change will be on an agenda that is topped by aid to Africa.
In an interview with Britain's ITV1 television that was broadcast on Monday, Bush opposed the Kyoto Protocol.
"The Kyoto treaty would have wrecked our economy," Bush said in the interview.
All the other G8 powers -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia -- have signed on to the treaty to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, which came into force in February.
"The Kyoto treaty wouldn't work unless all nations were involved. And as you know, many of the developing nations weren't involved in Kyoto," Bush said in the interview.
"So some of the discussions we're going to have at the G8, thanks to Tony Blair's leadership, is to work with India and China as to how to share technology with them, so that we can all work together to clean up the environment, and at the same time have sustained economic growth," he said.