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 user 2005-09-10 at 11:16:00 am Views: 60
  • #12639

    Prescott in climate swipe at US

    Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has criticised the US’s record on
    combating global warming in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which
    devastated New Orleans.

    In a speech in Berlin, Mr Prescott took a swipe at the US government, which has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

    He told the International Congress of the Council for European Urbanism
    that climate change was to blame for rising sea levels and more storm

    Mr Prescott drew a parallel between New Orleans and “at risk” island states.

    ‘Solidarity and compassion’

    Mr Prescott stressed his “compassion” for the US, but said President
    Bush’s administration had been “wrong” not to join Britain and other
    leading industrial nations in supporting the Kyoto Protocol on climate

    “I want to take this opportunity to express our solidarity and compassion after the havoc of Hurricane Katrina.

    “As a European negotiator at the Kyoto climate change convention, I was
    fully aware that climate change is changing weather patterns and
    raising sea levels,” he said.

    Some commentators have suggested Katrina is an example of the type of storms that will become more common with global warming.

    The horrific flood of New Orleans brings home to us the concern of leaders of countries like the Maldives

    John Prescott

    The Kyoto agreement aims to reverse global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

    But the US government has been reluctant to accept that human activity is to blame.

    In his speech, Mr Prescott also hailed the US city mayors who had
    ignored their federal government’s position and had taken action
    locally to limit carbon emissions.

    He said: “On a recent visit to the United States, I was
    delighted to see that city mayors are taking their own environmental
    initiative on Kyoto.

    “This year, 178 mayors, representing over 36 million
    Americans have signed up to the goals of Kyoto – along with 60 mayors
    from cities like London, Shanghai, Moscow and Rio who have agreed to
    take 21 practical actions on energy waste, urban design, health water
    and transport.”

    He continued: “The horrific flood of New Orleans brings
    home to us the concern of leaders of countries like the Maldives, whose
    nations are at risk of disappearing completely.

    “I’m proud that Britain has already achieved its Kyoto
    target on greenhouse gas emissions – six years ahead of time, with a
    growing economy.”