Climate change can’t be tackled without India, China: Bush

June 7th, 2008 - 12:49 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 7 (IANS) The White House has reiterated that the problem of climate change cannot be tackled unless new emerging economies like India and China are on the table. One thing that “this debate shows us is that solving the climate change problem is not easy,” White House spokesperson Dana Perino said Friday, commenting on the fall of a climate change bill after a procedural vote in the Senate.

“… by working on new technologies and working to make sure that China and India are at the table, that’s the way to try to tackle this problem,” she said. “And President George Bush will certainly talk about this when he’s in Europe next week.”

The bill to set up a cap-and-trade system to limit climate-warming carbon emissions aimed to cut total US global warming emissions by 66 percent by 2050. Opponents said it would cost US jobs and raise fuel prices in an already pinched American economy.

“Let’s just say we did not support the bill,” said Perino. Bush had threatened to veto it in its current form citing among other things for not seeking action at home in concert with India, China and other emerging economies.

“The president supports tackling the problem of climate change in a way that will be effective, meaning that it would actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world, and in a way that would not harm our economy,” she said.

“If we harm the economy that’s already currently in a slowdown, if we harm it any further, no one is going to have any extra money to pay for the new technologies that we’re going to need to be able to solve this problem,” Perino said.

Apart from presidential opposition, she suggested the bill fell because the Democratic majority “wasn’t even going to spend enough time to allow people to have any chance of talking about it or amending” what they called “the most important bill to face this Congress.”

“And this is a bill that would have a huge impact on the economy, and a huge impact on people, working people, in America, and probably not have a lot of impact overseas,” Perino said.

Neither the Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama nor his Republican counterpart John McCain cast votes on the bill.

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