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US Government Proposal Has Potential to Derail Bali Climate Conference, Warns WWF

Bali, Indonesia – A move by the U.S. government could push the Bali climate negotiations to the brink of failure, WWF officials warned tonight. The U.S. proposal would eliminate language that called upon developed nations to consider specific, internationally binding, quantified reduction commitments, replacing it with text that calls upon countries to adopt any measures they deem appropriate.

“At the eleventh hour the U.S. has submitted a proposal that is the equivalent of taking no action at all against climate change,” WWF International Director General James P Leape said. “This proposal would gut the international effort towards halting climate change and put the future of our planet at risk.”

More than 50 members of the U.S. Congress from both parties wrote to President Bush urging him to shift gears and play a constructive role in bringing these negotiations to a productive close.

“The Bush administration has repeatedly stated that it sees the importance of acting on climate change,” said WWF-International Global Climate Change Director Hans Verolme. “Now is the time to demonstrate that commitment and build on progress that has already been made in these negotiations on deforestation, technology and adaptation. The U.S. must join the vast majority of the international community and commit to negotiating binding, verifiable emissions reductions commitments as part of the post-2012 climate change framework. We are pleased that several large emerging economies, including China, Brazil, and South Africa, are still showing flexibility and creativity in their contributions to the Bali negotiations. That is the same spirit one would hope we could expect from the U.S.”


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