Alexa

White House says U.N. report to show humans "substantial factor" in global warming

White House says U.N. report to show humans "substantial factor" in global warming

President George W. Bush's environmental adviser said Thursday that he expected a much-anticipated United Nations' climate report to show that humans are a "very substantial factor" in global warming.
The Bush administration has been reluctant to conclude how much humans are to blame.
James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said U.S. officials are looking forward to the release next week of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a respected group of hundreds of scientists whose work is combined to form an assessment of global warming. The last report appeared in 2001.
Connaughton, in response to questions by reporters at the Foreign Press Center, said the report "doesn't create new science," but "it's very clear that it will further reinforce that the earth is warming" and will likely show that "human activity is a very substantial factor in that equation."
The United States is urged by critics in Europe, Asia and elsewhere to do more to deal with heat-trapping greenhouse gases that are contributing to the Earth's warming.
As environmental complaints mount abroad, Bush also faces growing trouble at home as he attempts to defend a vastly unpopular war in Iraq and to deal with a Congress controlled by opposition Democratic lawmakers.
Connaughton on Thursday defended U.S. efforts on global warming, saying "the United States is responsible for probably half the science that will be contained in that report," which "collects all the science that's out there and then analyzes and summarizes" it.
He also responded to questions on Bush's decision to keep the United States out of the Kyoto international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases; Bush says the pact would harm the U.S. economy.
"All the countries have moved beyond the debate over Kyoto. In fact, we've moved into a very constructive period over how we implement our shared obligations," Connaughton said. "Let's stop debating the science. Let's get on with the practical action."
In Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday, the president made clear that he has no plans to shift away from a largely voluntary program to address climate change.
Bush proposed to cut gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017, mostly by replacing the fuel with ethanol. Environmentalists and some lawmakers said the plan does not go far enough.