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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1997

NEWS...
U.S. POLICY


Item #d97aug69

President Clinton kicked off his campaign to raise public awareness of the climate change issue, announced at the Rio + 5 meeting of the United Nations in June 1997, with a July 24 round table discussion at the White house with several top scientists. A series of regional meetings and other acti vities will lead to the December meeting in Kyoto on the Climate Convention. A conference at the White House is planned for early October, following which the Administration is expected to announce specific emission restrictions it will push for at Kyoto. (See feature article in Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Aug. 8, 1997; Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 757, Aug. 6.)

The day following the start of the Clinton campaign, the United States Senate unanimously approved a resolution stating that the U.S. should not sign an agreement to limit emissions after 2000 unless developing nations commit to specified, timed limits as well. It does not say that those limits should be the same as the ones applied to industrialized countries. The resolution expresses concern that emission controls could harm the U.S. economy, and calls for an economic analysis of the proposals the Administration will submit in Kyoto. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 752-753, Aug. 6; pp. 714-715, July 23.)

At a July 10 Senate hearing, scientists with diverging opinions on the human impact on climate generally agreed that the U.S. should take modest measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 721, July 23, 1997.)

Extensive material relating to both the Clinton campaign and the Senate resolution as well as recent House and Senate hearings can be found in August listings of Global Change Electronic Edition (http://www.globalchange.org/).

In Newsweek (p. 57, July 14, 1997), R.J. Samuelson predicts global warming to become a "gushing source of national hypocrisy," since taking it seriously is politically correct, but doing anything about it would be political suicide.

In a Washington Times commentary (July 17, 1997, p. A17), the chair of the Media Research Center argues that media bias has oversimplified the issue, turning it into the do-gooder environmentalists vs. the greedy captains of industry.

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