July 6, 2010

Greenpeace USA Executive Director John Passacantando and nearly fifty other activists were arrested at a protest today outside the Bush administration’s ‘Big Emitters’ meeting on global warming as they sent the message: “Bush: Wrong way on global warming.” “We’re here to register our protest at this charade,” Passacantando said. “President Bush is trying to take the world in the wrong direction on global warming, and this meeting is nothing more than a propaganda effort to deflect international criticism.”

The four environmental organizations involved in the protest are calling on the countries attending the meeting to take real action on global warming and resist endorsing the Bush agenda of undermining the Kyoto Protocol and substituting voluntary pledges for binding commitments. Those groups include: Greenpeace; Oil Change International; Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the U.S. Climate Emergency Council.

“This week’s meeting is all about talk with no word of action by the Bush administration,” said Christopher Miller, global warming campaigner with Greenpeace USA. “And it is an effort to deflect the criticism that Bush deserves for refusing to introduce mandatory emissions cuts and targets in the U.S. The Bush administration has called the meeting under the guise of appearing concerned about global warming. However, the U.S. is one of only two countries at this week’s meeting that are not engaging with the Kyoto Protocol; the other is Australia.”

All the developing countries attending the meeting – including China and India – have signed, and are actively working with, the Kyoto Protocol and its mechanisms. China also has  introduced its own binding renewable energy targets of 15 percent by 2020 along with energy efficiency targets.  In contrast, Bush has threatened to veto the energy bill currently on the table in the U.S. Congress.

Greenpeace pointed to the Kyoto negotiations in Bali in December as the “only legitimate game in town.”  If successful, the meeting would establish a two-year timetable for negotiating a strengthened second phase of Kyoto, beginning in 2013.

Kyoto received widespread support at the UN High Level meeting in New York on Monday.  Greenpeace is calling for cutting emissions by more than half globally by mid-century, with industrialized countries leading the process by cutting emissions by at least 30 percent by 2020 and at least 80 percent by 2050 – from 1990 levels.

VVPR info: Photos available at: Contacts: Jane Kochersperger, Media Officer, Greenpeace U.S.A., (202) 680-3798 cell

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