U.S. Withdraws From Kyoto Protocol

As Europe forges ahead with work on global warming, we urge U.S. businesses to reject Bush reversal on global warming

Feature story - April 5, 2001
Almost immediately after he declared his administration would not require industry to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, President Bush delivered another blow to the world's climate by refusing to support the global warming treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol.

This treaty, negotiated by more than 100 countries over a decade, calls for the 38 largest industrial nations to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by 2012 to 5.2 percent below the levels in 1990. President Bush has stated that conforming with the accord is not in U.S. interests.

"U.S. withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol in an extreme disappointment. U.S. action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is essential to international efforts to prevent dangerous global warming. Nevertheless, the treaty will be beneficial and start the world moving in the right direction," said Kert Davies, Director of Greenpeace's U.S. Global Warming Campaign. "President Bush is wrong when he says reducing greenhouse gas emissions will hurt the U.S. economy. Bush ignores the economic benefits of U.S. leadership on 21st century energy technology," Davies continued.

Global opposition to the U.S. position is mounting, with strong statements from the European Union, Japan, Brazil, Russia and New Zealand indicating their willingness to move on without the U.S. "Conscious nations must move forward on the global warming treaty with or without the U.S. Clearly, the Bush Administration is a negative influence on the international agreement at this point and they are getting that message from governments and people of the world," said John Passacantando, Executive Director of Greenpeace.

Greenpeace has called on leaders of the Fortune 100 companies to declare their opposition to President Bush's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol or face the consequences from concerned consumers, institutions and organizations around the world.

In a letter which gives them one week to respond, CEOs of Exxon/Mobil, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Enron, Texaco, and others, are asked specifically if these corporations will support Bush's rejection of the global warming treaty. The letter also asks if these companies will support or oppose the efforts of other countries to bring the Kyoto Protocol into force without U.S. participation.

Activists protested Bush's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol outside the American Society of Newspaper Editors meeting in Washington today. President Bush's motorcade passed the activists waving banners that read "Protect The Planet, Not Polluters" and "Bush: Polluter Of The Free World" as he made his way into the meeting. "President Bush has completely broken his trust with the American people simply to pay back his oil industry campaign contributors. It is time to determine just which companies will choose to go down with Bush and suffer the global outrage for undermining efforts to stop global warming," said Passacantando. "Greenpeace aims to help citizens around the world find out whose side these companies are on."