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WWF Dismayed by Expected White House Climate Change Policy

Calls on White House to put together a credible plan to reduce emissions

WASHINGTON - World Wildlife Fund is dismayed that the U.S. climate change policy expected to be announced today by the Bush Administration is woefully inadequate in the face of global warming. After a year of what the Administration has termed "intensive deliberations," it is producing a policy that allows global warming pollution to increase indefinitely.

"This is a Valentine's Day gift to polluters and a Dear John letter to the rest of the world," said Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF's Climate Change Campaign.

While the Bush Administration's plan is expected to increase U.S. emissions indefinitely, other nations are already moving forward with a multilateral treaty - the Kyoto Protocol - that sets mandatory targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions within a shorter timeframe. Representing the world's largest global warming polluter, the Bush Administration walked out on the global effort to fight global warming in early 2001. As we currently understand the proposal, it is not much different than business-as-usual emissions trends.

"This Bush Administration policy is a step backwards from what the first Bush Administration agreed to over a decade ago at the Rio Earth Summit," said Morgan. "This is shocking in light of the increasing scientific evidence that climate change is already happening and likely to cause enormous damage in the future."

Other countries, like the United Kingdom and Germany, continue to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and grow economically, shattering any myths about emission reductions being a trade-off with economic growth.

In contrast to the Administration, U.S. industry is already moving forward with more aggressive emission reduction targets than those expected in the Bush Administration's plan. As part of WWF's Climate Savers program progressive companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Nike and Lafarge have all committed to significant absolute reductions in their carbon dioxide emissions. Many of these companies are expecting carbon dioxide reductions to have a positive impact on their bottom line.

"To effectively fight global warming, the United States must join the rest of the world in implementing the Kyoto Protocol. Domestically, the US should pass legislation that significantly reduces the carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants; increases the percentage of the nation's power that comes from clean, renewable energy resources; and significantly increases the fuel economy cars, SUVs and other light trucks," stated Morgan. "These same measures, currently on the table in the U.S. Congress, will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil thereby increasing its national security, and reduce the air pollution that causes acid rain, smog, and respiratory illness."