They're back! Last year the Bush-led US government walked away from the Kyoto Protocol. As a result, it took heroic efforts by other countries to salvage this world-wide effort to address climate change. But after their dramatic exit from the Protocol, what are the Americans doing in New Delhi now as negotiations continue?
Demonstration in streets of New Delhi during COP8 climate change negotiations.
"It seems they are only here to sabotage, obstruct, weaken and
delay proceedings," said Greenpeace campaigner Steve Sawyer,
speaking from New Delhi. "They don't care about climate change,
they don't care about the poor who are the first and hardest hit;
they only care about the bottom line of their fossil fuel pals like
Exxon and Enron."
"American Climate Criminals in Town" was the message on the
Greenpeace banner hung at the hotel housing the US delegation. If
the US will not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, it is outrageous for
them to send a team to influence the talks at COP8 (the 8th
Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate
The ten-day conference focuses on the final adoption and
implementation of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
"Progress has been frustratingly slow on the detailed issues
here in Delhi because of the usual sabotage from the usual suspects
and a lack of political will from the rest," said Sawyer. The US
abandoned the Kyoto Protocol in June, 2001. It was the first time
the country, the world's greatest polluter and home to the world's
largest oil companies, had walked away from and international
It's time for ministers at the climate talks to get serious.
COP8 must not be remembered as the place where American, Australian
and Saudi efforts to unravel the Kyoto Protocol gained a
ExxonMobil to stop sabotaging action on climate change.