Thursday, December 13, 2007

E.U. to call Bush out on climate

Unless Bush agrees to specific emissions cuts at Bali E.U. members are threatening to boycott U.S. led climate talks next month:

“No result in Bali means no Major Economies Meeting,” said Sigmar Gabriel, a top EU environment official, referring to a series of separate climate talks initiated by President Bush in September.

“We are a bit disappointed that all the world is still waiting for the United States,” added Humberto Rosa, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Environment. Portugal holds the rotating EU presidency and Rosa is the EU’s chief negotiator at the Bali talks.

Meanwhile, we’ve already got the White House spin accusing the E.U. being the obstructionists.
”I think those that suggest that we magically find an agreement on a metric when we are just starting ... that in itself is a blocking effort,”said Jim Connaughton, the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “We need to free up this conversation so we can have the deliberation to find as much consensus and collective engagement.”


Because of this, I doubt it will change anything in Washington if the EU boycotts Bush’s charade. The only thing that might actually work is if World Trade Organization rules allowed tariffs to address pollution or CO2 levels, but, unfortunately, that ain’t the case — yet.

I think the next round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, talks, needs to discuss exactly that.