I would like to open my remarks by sharing with you the gratitude of the
United States for the outpouring of support, sympathy, and solidarity from
countries around the world in response to the tragic events in New York
City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on September 11. We have been
simply amazed by the response of the global community. We recognize that
citizens of 80 countries lost their lives that day, and our thoughts and
prayers are with the families and friends of all the victims.
Although the current focus of the world is on the global campaign against
terrorism, addressing the global concern of climate change has received a
great deal of attention around the world and certainly in the United States.
President Bush is committed to addressing the issue in a manner that
protects our environment, consumers, and economy. As a result, he directed
his Cabinet to review our climate change policy and to make recommendations
for new ways -- domestic and international -- to address this complex issue.
That Cabinet-level review is still in progress, and President Bush has made
several interim announcements, which I will talk about more in a few
The United States ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in
October 1992 -- we were the first industrialized nation to do so. We
continue to fulfill our obligations under the Convention, and to participate
in negotiations on matters related to it. President Bush has made clear
that the U.S. will continue to work constructively under the Convention --
we did so at the resumed Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP-6 bis) in Bonn
last July, and we intend to continue doing so at COP-7 in Marrakech, which
begins later this month.
We know that the United States is the world's leading emitter of manmade
greenhouse gases, we recognize our responsibility to reduce our emissions,
and we are working to address them. At the same time, climate change is a
global problem that will require a global, long-term solution. Already, the
net emissions from developing countries now exceed those of developed
countries, so it is even more critical that all nations address this
Unless developing countries take measures to address their steeply rising
emissions levels, all the efforts of the developed countries to mitigate
their emissions will have done nothing to accomplish the Convention's goal
of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. While no
one expects developing countries to assume the same level of measures as
developed countries, it is important for each country to do what it can in
accordance with its responsibilities and capabilities.
The United States does not believe that the Kyoto Protocol is the right
answer to the challenge of climate change. The Protocol is flawed -- its
targets are arbitrary and in many cases unrealistic, it does not include
developing countries, and its costs would harm the U.S. economy. The United
States has made it very clear that it does not intend to ratify the
Protocol. At the same time, we do not intend to block those who wish to
proceed -- the decision of whether or not to ratify the Protocol is a
decision that each country will have to make on its own. We do not believe
that ratification of the Protocol would be in the interests of the United
States, but as we made clear by our engagement at COP-6 bis in Bonn, we will
not impede others if they choose differently. Other countries must do what
they think is right.
As I noted earlier, President Bush's Cabinet has been meeting for months to
review the existing U.S. climate change policy and to make recommendations
for how to proceed from here -- both domestically and internationally.
However, President Bush has already provided information on the process and
announced some first steps that we will take.
On June 11, in a speech in the Rose Garden at the White House, President
Bush provided an interim report on the review's progress. He summarized the
kinds of briefings the Cabinet had received on the science of climate
change, and highlighted some areas where more scientific work needs to be
done to reduce the uncertainties of how and how much the climate could
change in the future, and what that means for us.
President Bush also announced three initiatives:
-- Advancing the Science of Climate Change through the U.S. Climate Change
Research Initiative (CCRI) to set priorities for additional investments in
climate change research and to fully fund priority research areas that are
underfunded or need to be accelerated. This initiative includes up to $25
million and calls on other developed countries to provide matching funds to
help build climate observation systems in developing countries.
-- Advancing Technology to Address Climate Change through the National
Climate Change Technology Initiative (NCCTI) to improve climate change
research and development, enhance basic research, strengthen applied
research through public-private partnerships, develop improved technologies
for measuring and monitoring gross and new greenhouse gas emissions, and
support demonstration projects for cutting-edge technologies.
-- Promoting Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere and Beyond to build
partnerships within the Western Hemisphere and throughout the world and
identify areas for enhanced cooperation.
I want to highlight the third initiative, Cooperation in the Western
Hemisphere and Beyond, which is the one most focused on international
partnerships -- although the other two have international elements as well.
We know that even with the best science and the most innovative technology,
neither the United States nor any other country can solve this problem
alone. That is why President Bush has directed the Secretary of State,
working closely with other U.S. Government agencies, to consult with nations
in the Western Hemisphere and throughout the world to identify areas for
In the President's Plan, this cooperation has five components:
-- Building on the June 7, 2001 CONCAUSA declaration with seven Central
America countries, which calls for "intensified cooperative efforts to
address on climate change."
-- Strengthening and expanding scientific research within the Western
Hemisphere to explore opportunities for collaboration through existing
partnerships with research institutes, such as the Inter-American Institute
for Global Change Research and others, to better understand regional impacts
of climate change.
-- Revitalizing U.S. efforts to assist developing countries to acquire the
tools and expertise needed to measure and monitor emissions, and to identify
and act on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
-- Promoting the export of climate-friendly, clean energy technologies,
building on the President's National Energy Policy.
-- Promoting sustainable forest conservation and land use in the developing
On July 13, President Bush described further progress made in the review
process, and announced the first set of actions the Cabinet had taken to
advance progress of the three initiatives.
First, with respect to the CCRI, the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) is to invest more than $120 million over the next
three years in four areas:
Carbon Cycle (more than $50 million) -- Recognizing the key role carbon
dioxide plays as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and as a key constituent
in human, plant, and animal life in the biosphere, NASA is selecting 80 new
projects to conduct remote sensing-oriented research on how carbon cycles
through the Earth's system and influences climate change.
-- Water and Energy Cycle ($20 million). To improve understanding of the
global cycle of water and energy, particularly the roles that clouds and
water vapor play in climate change.
-- Chemistry-Climate Connection ($22 million). To help determine whether
aerosols have a net warming or cooling effect, and whether climate change
will hamper the recovery of the ozone layer.
-- Computational Modeling ($10 million). To improve the computer simulation
of a broad range of physical and biological climate systems, taking
advantage of ever-increasing computational capabilities of new computer
models and hardware.
In addition, on July 19 the United States and Italy agreed to undertake
joint research on climate change in several critical areas, including
atmospheric studies related to climate, low carbon technologies, global and
regional climate modeling, and carbon cycle research.
Second, with respect to the NCCTI, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has
committed $25 million to a number of projects to develop enhanced carbon
sequestration technologies, and plans to leverage approximately $50 million
in contributions from the private sector and foreign governments. Two
initial projects under this effort include:
-- The Nature Conservancy Project. DOE will work in partnership with The
Nature Conservancy and companies such as General Motors Corp. and American
Electric Power to study how carbon dioxide can be stored more effectively by
changing land use practices and investing in forestry projects. The project
will use newly developed aerial and satellite-based technology to study
forestry projects in Brazil and Belize to determine their carbon
sequestration potential, and will also test new software models to predict
how soil and vegetation store carbon at sites in the United States and
-- International Team of Energy Companies. DOE will work in collaboration
with nine energy companies from six nations to develop breakthrough
technologies to reduce the cost of capturing carbon dioxide from fossil fuel
combustion and safely storing it underground. The nine companies are:
BP-Amoco (UK), Shell (The Netherlands), Chevron (U.S.), Texaco (U.S.), Pan
Canadian (Canada), Suncor Energy (Canada), ENI (Italy), Statoil
Forskningssenter (Norway), and Norsk Hydro ASA (Norway).
The initial stages of cooperation in the Western Hemisphere include:
-- Debt-for-Forest Swap with El Salvador -- The government of El Salvador
will generate over $14 million in funds to conserve tropical forests,
leveraging each dollar in debt relief for nearly two dollars in tropical
forest conservation in El Salvador. Among the forested areas to be
protected is El Salvador's cloud forest, which is globally outstanding in
terms of its biological diversity. The U.S. government is working to
execute additional debt-for-forest swaps this year with other eligible
countries in the Western Hemisphere and globally.
-- Climate Change Cooperation Among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico -- On June
29, 2001, the environment ministers of each of the three countries initiated
a dialogue on global environmental concerns. The three ministers pledged
"to explore further opportunities for market-based approaches for carbon
sequestration, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in North America."
-- Scientific Cooperation Among the U.S., Mexico and South America -- The
U.S. Department of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, and the National Science Foundation are bringing together
more than 100 scientists from the U.S., Mexico, and South America to conduct
experiments based out of Hualtulco, Mexico for the Eastern Pacific
Investigation of Climate Change experiment. This work will produce a
better understanding of the interaction of stratus clouds, precipitation,
and cool ocean surface temperatures by studying stratus cloud decks located
off the west coast of South America, a region of cool sea surface
temperatures located along the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean and a
region of intense precipitation located in the eastern Pacific north of the
These initial actions are just the beginning of the cooperation that will
take place under the three initiatives. As the elements of these
initiatives are worked out in more detail, we anticipate there will be
further announcements. At the same time, the United States has a strong
history of collaboration with developing countries.
U.S. assistance to developing countries spans the full range of its
Convention obligations -- from assisting in the development of National
Communications, to facilitating the transfer of technology, to assisting
developing countries' adaptation to the impacts of climate change, to
capacity building across a wide range of themes, including greenhouse gas
inventories and economic analyses, adaptation, energy, agriculture, and
U.S. assistance also goes beyond its Convention obligations and includes
information exchanges, with data being shared from early warning systems,
weather satellites, and other observing systems; and economic
diversification support, including support of emerging markets and
trade-related capacity building.
This assistance takes many forms and is channeled through many
organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture, and the
Environmental Protection Agency.
The USAID has spent some $1.4 billion since 1993 on climate-related
mitigation activities. USAID is currently completing a five-year climate
change initiative in more than 50 developing and countries with economies in
transition to promote sustainable development that minimizes greenhouse gas
emissions growth and reduces vulnerability to climate change.
DOE activities include: (1) Clean Cities International (Brazil, Chile,
Mexico, and India), which works with coalitions of local stakeholders to
develop strategies and initiatives to integrate alternative fuel vehicles
into their transportation sector; (2) the International Motor Challenge
Program (South Africa, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and
Venezuela), a voluntary program that develops and disseminates information,
tools and best practices to help local manufacturers make more informed
choices about energy-efficient motors to reduce energy costs and increase
productivity while mitigating emissions; and (3) collaborations of DOE and
its National Renewable Energy Laboratory with the governments of Brazil,
Argentina, and Chile to facilitate greater use of renewable energy.
In addition, the U.S. provides as much as one third of the financial support
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is the largest single
contributor to the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
We believe that our approach must be flexible, and must be based on global
participation. President Bush has pledged to be creative -- we are
committed to protecting our environment and improving our economy, to acting
at home and in collaboration with the world, and we look forward to
continued work with our friends and allies as we address the challenge of
See http://www.state.gov for Senior State Department
Official's statements and testimonies
Return to Vinnie's Home Page
Return to Global