Sunday, October 30, 2005

IOL: Bush 'light years behind' on climate change

US President George Bush is “light years” behind the rest of the world on tackling climate change, a leading British environmentalist claimed today.

Jonathan Porritt, chairman of Britain's Sustainable Development Commission, condemned the US president for refusing to sign up to the Kyoto protocol.

“I’m sorry to say that the Bush White House is now light years behind the rest of the world, and actually behind most of the rest of America now,” he said.

Porritt said there had been a distinct change in large sections of the US business community and political system, with people now acknowledging more needed to be done to tackle climate change. But the president had not caught up.

He dismissed suggestions that moves to combat global warming would harm the economy.

He told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “If we make the kind of investments that we could make now in energy efficiency and in cleaner, more sustainable technologies, it wouldn’t just be good for the environment and our grandchildren, it would actually be very good indeed for the economy.”

He added that Kyoto did not go far enough but it had set the right direction for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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