Oxfam response to US announcement on climate change

Published: 1 June 2007

On Thursday, 31 May, in a speech ahead of the G8 summit in Germany, US President George W. Bush spoke about the need for the world to address climate change – and outlined US plans to gather the countries that emit the most greenhouse gases and set a global emissions goal. This is significant as it is the first time that the Bush administration has spoken directly and publicly on climate change policy.

Antonio Hill, Oxfam International’s Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Change said: “President Bush's acknowledgement of the threat of global warming and the need for the world to act is welcome. However, we are concerned that he is steering away from the UN process. Any US plan must work collaboratively within the existing UN framework, to ensure the best possible outcome. Furthermore, we are concerned by the President's proposal that a core group of 13 countries is charged with coming up with a solution to climate change. We believe that all countries must be involved in negotiations on climate change, including the poorest, as they are the most vulnerable to the likely impacts.
"Going into the G8 meeting we are in the unenviable situation of the world two biggest polluters – the EU and US – backing different approaches to solving climate change. This is a recipe for stalemate and inaction. In Germany next week we need to see genuine, honest political dialogue that moves beyond acknowledging the problem, and focuses on multilateral solutions and immediate action to achieve them. It is crucial that G8 countries agree to on measures that will address adaptation needs in developing countries, dramatically reduce emissions and limit global warming to as far below 2 degrees as possible."


Contact Information

For more information, please contact:
Amy Barry (UK) on +44 (0)1865 472313, or
Matt Grainger (UK) on +44 (0)7730680837, or
Laura Rusu (US) on + 1 202-496-3620