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President Bush 'About Face' on Carbon is Unacceptable

Statement by Kathryn S. Fuller President, World Wildlife Fund

"Global warming is the single most important environmental problem we face. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's preeminent experts on climate change, recently found that human-caused climate change is already happening, and that the warming and impacts are likely to be worse than previously expected. Especially at risk are the world's wildlife and species that are already feeling the impacts. The White House can not just wish a problem of this political scale away.

"Polling shows that the American public overwhelming agrees that climate change is a serious problem and supports U.S. leadership in reducing emissions.

"Many American companies have already taken action to implement cost-effective strategies to reduce carbon pollution, utilizing readily-available technologies to reduce their emissions. A four-pollutant approach and the Kyoto Protocol would provide companies certainty about the regulatory outlook for carbon in the coming decade. With no guidance on how the U.S. will reduce carbon emissions, nor international rules, companies won't be able to make informed investment decisions. In the absence of governmental leadership on this issue, we will look more and more to private industry to take the lead.

"Climate change is a global problem and countries around the world are confronting it with serious steps to reduce their carbon pollution. This response by the Bush Administration will not only let down Americans, it will outrage the global community. After having asked for and received an extension in Kyoto Protocol negotiations and agreed to a G8 statement that strives to reach agreement on Kyoto by this summer, negotiating counterparts will doubt the seriousness of the U.S.

"On behalf of our 1.2 million members in the U.S. we urge the President to revisit this decision. He can not simply walk away from a problem of this scale."