EU more up­beat on Bush cli­mate pol­icy

The Washington Times Weekly - - World - By Jon Ward

Euro­pean lead­ers — in a change from the past — on April 30 sounded pos­i­tive notes about the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion’s glob­al­warm­ing pol­icy, al­though clear dis­agree­ments re­main over how to ad­dress the is­sue.

“There is a com­mon ba­sis. We are aware of the fact that we do have a prob­lem here, that we need to solve this prob­lem,” said Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, who is also the cur­rent pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Union.

“There are dif­fer­ent ap­proaches, ob­vi­ously, as to how to solve that. But we have been able, ac­tu­ally, to find a lot of com­mon ground,” said Mrs. Merkel, who met with Pres­i­dent Bush at the White House along with Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jose Manuel Bar­roso for the an­nual U.S.-EU sum­mit.

Mr. Bush said it was Mrs. Merkel’s sug­ges­tion that led him to send Sec­re­tary of De­fense Robert M. Gates to Rus­sia two weeks ago to talk to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin about a U.S.-pro­posed mis­sile-de­fense sys­tem in Europe.

Mr. Putin two weeks ago threat­ened to pull out of a NATO arms treaty, in part be­cause of his dis­plea­sure with the mis­sile-de­fense sys­tem.

“Our in­ten­tion is to say to Rus­sia that this sys­tem is some­thing you ought to think about par­tic­i­pat­ing in. It’s in your in­ter­ests to have a sys­tem that could pre­vent a fu­ture Ira­nian regime, for ex­am­ple, from launch­ing a weapon. It’s in Rus­sia’s se­cu­rity in­ter­ests,” Mr. Bush said.

“We have started a di­a­logue, as a re­sult of Sec­re­tary Gates’ visit, that hope­fully will make ex­plicit our in­ten­tions, and hope­fully present an op­por­tu­nity to share with the Rus­sians so that they don’t see us as an an­tag­o­nis­tic force, but see us as a friendly force,” he said.

On cli­mate change, Mrs. Merkel agreed with Mr. Bush’s in­sis­tence that coun­tries such as China should be in­cluded in any dis­cus­sions of cur­tail­ing car­bon-diox­ide emis­sions, but also said that the U.S. and EU need to take the lead in re­duc­ing emis­sions.

Mr. Bar­roso, a for­mer Por­tuguese prime min­is­ter, de­scribed global warm­ing as “a very se­ri­ous and global threat.”

Mr. Bush, mean­while, said that the is­sue has “global con­se­quences” but of­fered dif­fer­ent rea­sons for why it needs to be ad­dressed. “I do be­lieve we can be bet­ter stew­ards of the en­vi­ron­ment, and [. . . ] I know it’s in our na­tional in­ter­est to be­come less de­pen­dent on for­eign sources of oil,” he said.

Both Euro­pean lead­ers agreed that in­vest­ing in bio­fu­els and in new en­ergy-ef­fi­cient tech­nolo­gies is a wor­thy goal.

Global warm­ing will be a key is­sue at the Group of Eight sum­mit in Ger­many next month.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Out for a spin: A boy rides past an ar­mored ve­hi­cle on pa­trol at the Muquico slum in Rio de Janeiro on May 2. Rio is one of Brazil’s most vi­o­lence-plagued cities with an an­nual homi­cide rate of around 50 per 100,000 res­i­dents. Most of the killings have oc­curred in the city's more than 600 shan­ty­towns, con­trolled pri­mar­ily by heav­ily armed drug gangs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.