News Release

Global Warming Summit: Analysts Available

This week, government representatives and non-governmental organizations are meeting at the Hague in the Netherlands for what many are calling a “make or break” summit on global warming. The following analysts are available for interviews:

ROSS GELBSPAN
Author of The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, the Cover-up, the Prescription, Gelbspan said: “Despite increasing climatic instability, the Clinton administration continues to insist the United States can meet its carbon-cutting obligations by planting more trees and using the deeply-flawed mechanism of international carbon trading. Given the growing diplomatic fatigue, the current round of climate talks at the Hague may finally buckle under the interminable — and irrelevant — haggling by the U.S. over how to measure the carbon-absorption capacity of vegetation and how to buy cheap carbon reductions in poor countries. The Europeans are far more serious, committing to cuts of 50 percent and more over the next 50 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. is dragging its heels on achieving even the modest 7 percent reductions in the short term, refusing to make any changes in its domestic energy system. The Europeans will achieve their cuts by drawing an increasing proportion of their energy from fuel cells, windfarms and solar systems. The opportunity embedded in the climate crisis is unprecedented. It is dawning on corporate leaders but not, unfortunately, on U.S. policy makers. Given its huge labor requirements, a global energy transition would create millions of jobs — especially in developing countries. It would transform impoverished and dependent countries into robust trading partners. It would dramatically expand the amount of wealth in the global economy. Ironically, that goal could be simpler to negotiate — and far less divisive — than the current inadequate and piecemeal approach.”
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LENA AAHLBY
Climate Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace USA, Aahlby said: “While the United States is the world’s largest global warming polluter, the Clinton/Gore administration’s negotiating team, along with OPEC country negotiators and multinational corporations, are collectively weakening the Kyoto treaty, making global warming pollution cuts less likely. The U.S. government and some other parties are pressing for a wide range of loopholes that would allow them to sidestep real pollution reductions. These include emissions trading schemes that would, for instance, allow the United States to get credit for an energy project in China instead of cleaning up cars and power plants here in the U.S; or seeking credit for management of forests (which absorb carbon dioxide) instead of reducing global warming pollution; and promoting environmentally unsound technologies like hydroelectric dams and nuclear power to developing countries.” Greenpeace has organized 225 university students to participate at the summit in the Hague.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167