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WWF Applauds Decision To Move Towards Ratification Of Kyoto Protocol On Climate Change

Decision in Bonn Signals World Recognition of Threat of Climate Change

Washington, DC -- WWF President Kathryn S. Fuller today praised the leaders of industrialized nations for their recognition of climate change as a major environmental threat and their decision to proceed towards ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Ministers at the Bonn climate summit moved forward in support of the landmark environmental treaty in spite of opposition from the United States.

"Today's action underscores the importance the world's leaders place on addressing climate change now," said Fuller. "This agreement, which appears to have the support of close U.S. allies such as Canada and Japan, will put added pressure on the U.S. to join with the other nations of the world in the effort to reduce global warming."

The multilateral agreement reached today in Bonn provides a basic foundation for the implementation of the Protocol and the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from industrialized nations. Significant in the agreement reached today is the inclusion of a funding package to assist developing countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change. The agreement also sets rules for emissions trading and the Clean Development Mechanism.

"Unless the Bush administration joins the international community in grappling with the climate change problem, many U.S.-based companies will face an increasingly difficult future in world markets," said Brooks B. Yeager, WWF Vice-President. "This agreement is one that the U.S. could and should support, and we urge the Bush administration to join with other nations in going forward with the ratification of the Protocol. The U.S. must keep pace with the rest of the industrialized world."