US aims to ease criticism in climate by active posture

Updated: 2008-01-31 23:18

HONOLULU, United States -- The US-hosted second climate meeting of major economies kicked off Wednesday, but many observers believe the active posture of the Bush administration is intended to fend off strong criticism.

The idea of bringing the world's major economies for climate change talks was initiated by President George W. Bush in May 2007, when the United States was under growing pressure to contribute more to solving the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

Although Bush repeatedly said the US government was serious about the climate change, yet whether the enthusiasm indicates a real shift in its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions or merely a superficial act to ease such a blame still remains unclear.

Given the negative role that the US has played in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, not much can be expected from the Hawaii meeting.

"This meeting could be another nonevent, or worse, a cynical diversion," said Jeff Mikulina, Hawaii chapter director of the Sierra Club, America's largest and most effective environmental organization.

He told Xinhua that the US government is not serious about climate change and he believes it will not change its policy.

Mikulina's words echoed the suspicions voiced by many in European countries.

When Bush initially announced the plan last summer, the German Green Party's floor leader Jurgen Trittin accused the US president of developing a "strategy for hindering climate protection."

Without the participation of the countries most affected by climate change, Bush just wants to "sit down together with the biggest polluters to delay any binding emissions reductions targets for as long as possible," Trittin said.

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