US Crosses the Starting Line, but continues to lag behind | WWF

US Crosses the Starting Line, but continues to lag behind

Posted on
12 November 1998
Buenos Aires - Today, the US signed the Kyoto Protocol and announced a small package of domestic measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home.  They have stepped on to the dance floor in Buenos Aires but they still need to show they are willing to tango said Jennifer Morgan, WWF-US Climate Policy Officer. While these measures are a step in the right direction, we need to see a package of aggressive domestic measures to reduce carbon pollution at home.

The US, in making the announcement, said that the way ahead was a marathon not a sprint but in the face of the reductions needed  the US has just crossed the starting line said Morgan.

The measures could increase energy efficiency of cars, domestic appliances and housing. Eizenstat also indicated that the Administration will renew efforts to restructure our electricity industry. WWF emphasizes that this effort must include a cap on CO2 emissions from utilities and further incentives for energy efficiency and renewables.

Eizenstat also outlined the US position on the wide range of issues still on the table in Buenos Aires.

The announcement did nothing to allay fears that the US intends to achieve most of its reduction commitment through loopholes in the protocol such as emissions trading and carbon sinks, said Lars Georg Jensen, WWF International Policy Coordinator. We need a concrete cap on the amount of trading to ensure this does not happen.

The announcement was made on the second to last day of the Fourth Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention. Amid deadlocked negotiations and calls from many Ministers for an injection of political will to set the global community on a solid path forward based on domestic reductions of greenhouse gases.

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