Greenpeace Turns Nation's Most Iconic Landmark Into Memorial to Failed Climate Legacy

Bush Plan Portrayed as a Disaster on Eve of U.S-Led Climate Change Meeting

Media release - January 29, 2008
Responding to the Bush administration’s continued obstruction of international efforts to address global warming, Greenpeace activists turned one of the nation’s most iconic symbols into a memorial to Bush’s failed legacy on climate change. Greenpeace projected on the Washington Monument the message: U.S. Global Warming Plan: Hell and High Water accompanied by an image depicting rising sea levels at the base, a predicted consequence of global warming.

"President Bush's policies on global warming are a disaster," said John Coequyt, energy policy analyst at Greenpeace USA. "His international meeting on climate change in Hawaii slated to begin tomorrow is a rogue process to deflect attention from the administration's insistence to maintain America's dependence on dirty and dangerous energy sources while failing to address the growing climate crisis. As the Washington monument has long outlived the president it was built to honor, so too will Bush's legacy on climate change stand as a memorial to his neglect, obstruction and destruction."

Greenpeace's projection served to call attention to Bush's global warming policies a day after his State of the Union address and on the eve of Bush's international meeting of the world's largest emitters of global warming pollution, called the "Major Economies Meeting," which takes place in Hawaii on Wednesday and Thursday.

After being roundly rebuked in December in Bali at the UN's International Conference on Climate Change, the Bush administration continues to push its alternative Major Economies process that seeks to replace the Kyoto Protocol's legally binding emissions reduction targets with a completely inadequate voluntary approach.  "If the President were serious about leading on climate change, he would stop obstructing the U.N.'s process and endorse a cap on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions," Coequyt said. The United States stands completely isolated as the only industrialized country on the planet not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. 

"The Bush administration continues to push a climate-destroying agenda and to obstruct all meaningful efforts to address global warming by the international community," said Daniel Mittler of Greenpeace International. "Its role was so negative at the global negotiations on climate change in Bali last month that the U.S. delegates were literally booed by other participants. It was a stunning and well-deserved rebuke. This meeting is a charade and has no legitimacy at all."

Greenpeace is calling on the countries attending the meeting to maintain their commitments to substantive action under the Kyoto Protocol. Participating countries include: Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, and South Africa, as well as the United Nations, the EU Presidency and the EU Commission.

VVPR info: Jane Kochersperger, (202) 680-3798,

Notes: A major emitters briefing memo is available upon request. For further information on the outcome of the Bali negotiations, go to: www.greenpeace.org/bali-meeting