From: http://www.timesonline.co.uk
Published October 20, 2008 09:06 AM

Environment will wither whoever wins US election

Eager anticipation of the next American president offering a dramatically different policy on climate change is being tempered by the chill winds of the financial crisis.

Barack Obama or John McCain will inherit a blighted economy, a ballooning deficit set to reach $1 trillion and a political landscape in upheaval from the market turmoil of recent weeks.

Environmental groups are already bracing themselves for delays or disappointment on action to tackle global warming which, they say, will inevitably be seen as having an impact on American jobs.

Steve Clemons, a director at the liberal think-tank The New America Foundation, said that whoever succeeds President Bush is “going to have a horrible time”. He added: “They are not going to be able to do everything they said they were going to do. The economic constraints were always going to be huge, even before the current crisis. Now, with the drama over the financial markets, when the next president is sitting behind the desk of the Oval Office he will have to weigh up different programmes, cut back and pare down.”

Already there is talk of plans for universal healthcare or expensive tax cuts being reconsidered, while Britain is among the international governments alarmed over what the crisis may mean for hopes of getting a breakthrough deal on climate change. Mr Obama has proposed cuts in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 per cent by 2050 and wants to fund a ten-year, $150 billion energy independence programme by selling carbon-use permits to industry through a European-style cap and trade system. Mr McCain is not far behind, promising cuts of 60 per cent by 2050.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article4974536.ece

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