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Joint Statement From U.S. Environmental Leaders

Call for President Clinton to Personally Attend Global Warming Negotiations in the Hague, Outlines Urgency for Sound Treaty as Talks Begin

At a time of political uncertainty in the United States, but greater scientific certainty than ever before on the need for immediate cuts in global warming pollution, we call on President Clinton to personally attend the Hague global warming treaty negotiations.

The United States is the world's largest global warming polluter, but is also poised to reap economic benefit from industries and innovative technologies that will reduce pollution. Unfortunately, as the negotiations begin today, the United States is currently the biggest roadblock to a treaty that meaningfully reduces pollution.

Since the Kyoto negotiations concluded in December, 1997, many businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, have made commitments to substantially reduce global warming pollution. Sadly, the current U.S. proposals would allow for a drastic increase in U.S. pollution instead of the decrease from 1990 levels that we committed to in Kyoto.

President Clinton's personal leadership was crucial to the negotiations in Kyoto. His statement, coinciding with the opening of The Hague negotiations, that we must do more to address the growing threat from global warming is encouraging. His presence at the negotiations in The Hague will be a crucial signal to the United States and the world on the urgent need for a treaty that makes real and measurable cuts in global warming pollution. It will also be an important opportunity to reinforce his legacy.

The human impact on our climate is no longer in any doubt, and the earth's temperature may rise twice as fast as previously predicted, according to remarks today by the chairman of the world's leading global warming scientific authority - the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Time is running out on the treaty. We urge President Clinton to attend the negotiations and help build on the good beginning he and Vice President Gore helped create in Kyoto.

Signed,
Greenpeace USA, National Environmental Trust, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Wildlife Fund.