05 June 2007

Global Climate Change: Body-slam in Heiligendamm? Europe vs. Bush

Senior officials from Europe, the United Nations and G8 countries plan to put pressure on U.S. President George Bush to back U.N. efforts to combat climate change at a summit of major powers this week. Bush last week unveiled his own plan for tackling global warming beyond 2012, which suggests bringing China and India to the table, something other proposals have failed to do.

Bush and the EU, specifically Germany, disagree fundamentally on approaches. Bush wants technology solutions and voluntary targets; Europe feels that undermines the U.N.'s proposed mandatory target approach.

"America increasingly wants to use new technologies and in this way test how much carbon dioxide emissions can be decreased," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Der Spiegel. "We Europeans find it more compelling to agree on goals on an international level, and direct our efforts accordingly."

Who will win the battle? Or will we all lose, because, as Merkel's climate adviser Hans Joachim Schnellhuber said, Bush and Europe are like two cars racing head-on in a game of chicken.

Get ready for the "Body-Slam in Heiligendamm"...could be as exciting as the "Thrilla in Manilla."

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