WASHINGTON - August 12 -
Citing indications that global warming may be accelerating, Greens in the U.S. and around the world have called for the Kyoto
Accords to be renegotiated.
Greens are demanding that the U.S. lead the world in measures to curtail
global warming, with stronger curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, elimination of tradeable pollution credits, and increased
efforts to reduce fossil fuel dependence and convert to clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind energy. The Global Green Charter endorsed by Greens around the world, has called for similar wide-ranging measures, including carbon taxes on fossil fuel use.
According to The New York Times (August 12), Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt,
President Bush's nominee for EPA chief, opposed the Kyoto treaty; many Greens are urging Democrats to filibuster Leavitt's
"Scientists from the U.K.-based Institute for Public Policy Research,
the World Meteorological Organization, and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claim that manmade global
climate change seems to be proceeding much faster than earlier expected," said Lorna Salzman, a New York Green and candidate
for the national party's presidential nomination. "We've begun to see the result -- extreme weather around the world, especially
the record-breaking deadly heatwave in Europe, with depleted water resources, forest fires, rapidly melting Alpine glaciers,
and an agricultural crisis."
Greens note that the effect will be further aggravated by rapid melting
of the Arctic permafrost, by the possible collapse of the western Antarctic ice shelf, and by policies like President Bush's
'Healthy Forests' proposal, which would allow timber companies to mow down millions of acres of public forestlands.
"This isn't a local environmental problem that can be cleaned up next
week, but the global ecological and political crisis of the 21st century," said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party
of the United States. "But it's hardly on the table for Democratic and Republican candidates or in media coverage of the 2004
election. If we judge from the Clinton and Bush administrations and the 2004 campaigns, it will make minimal difference to
the advancement of climate change whether a Democrat or Republican is elected."
In November 2000, under pressure from the energy industry, President
Clinton's delegation at the Hague conference obstructed enactment of the Kyoto Accord's minimal steps to scale back global
warming. In March 2001, President Bush withdrew from Kyoto entirely after pledging as a candidate to support the agreement.
"The Kyoto agreement undermined its own goals by allowing 'horse-trading'
of pollution credits by industry, which will inadequately slow greenhouse gas emissions -- but even Kyoto's modest measures
were unacceptable to oil companies," said Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Party of New York State.
Greens sharply criticized the Senate's bipartisan defeat in July of a
Title 49 amendment to require automakers to produce a fleet average of 40 miles per gallon by 2015.
"There's no way to begin addressing global warming -- or security for
America -- without changing fuel consumption, which means imposing fuel efficiency rules on the auto industry," said Alan
Muller, Executive Director of Green Delaware, a community-based organization working on environment and public health issues,
and Green Party member.
While Congress surrenders to energy, oil, and car lobbies, Bush policy
on global warming is informed by industry-funded think tanks like the George C. Marshall Institute and the Competitive Enterprise
Institute, as well as the American Petroleum Institute. As a result, the Bush Administration has deluded Americans into thinking
that there's no scientific consensus that manmade greenhouse gases are aggravating climate change. It's a failure of environmental
policy and democracy. Greens will make this a major theme of our local and national campaigns in 2004."