PARIS — President Bush has finally set a target date for reining in U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases, but the plan is falling flat in the international arena, where critics have long accused him of not moving quickly enough on tackling global warming.
Beyond the buzz over Bush, negotiators pushed ways to expand the production of biofuels from sources beyond corn and other food crops, the chief French delegate said.
Bush's speech Wednesday, in which he said the United States must stop the growth of its emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases by 2025, dominated U.S.-sponsored climate talks in Paris involving the world's major economies.
Since Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, many nations have viewed him as an obstacle to the fight against global warming.
Some reactions to the speech:
German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel:
Bush is "lagging hopelessly behind the problems with his proposals. … His speech follows the motto: 'losership instead of leadership.' We are glad that there are other voices in the USA."
Chinese delegate Su Wei:
"We think the United States should already have cut emissions" because that would have encouraged other countries to follow the lead of the world's biggest economy.
South African Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk:
Bush's speech "takes us backward" because it does not call for mandatory emission cuts.
France's chief climate negotiator Brice Lalonde:
"The current American administration is just beginning to wake up, a bit late," to the dangers of global warming.