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Bush unveils climate strategy ahead of G8

By Deborah Zabarenko and Caren Bohan (Reuters) - June 1, 2007

President George W. Bush unveiled a long-term strategy on climate change on Thursday, with plans to gather the countries that emit the most greenhouse gases and set a global emissions goal.

Bush would also cut tariff barriers to sharing environmental technology as part of a strategy announced as he prepared to attend a Group of Eight summit in Germany next weekly likely to be dominated by addressing global climate change.

The U.S. strategy calls for consensus on long-term goals for reducing the greenhouse gases that spur global warming, but not before the end of 2008, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Bush plans in the fall to convene the first in a series of meetings on ways to limit global emissions by a set amount by about 2050. About 15 countries would be invited, including two nations that like the United States are major polluters, China and India.

“The United States takes this issue seriously,” Bush said.

In negotiations before the summit, Washington rejected setting targets to reduce greenhouse gases, championed by other participants.

The plan calls for eliminating tariff barriers within six months, freeing up the distribution of new environmentally friendly technology.

The gathering of the biggest greenhouse gas countries — those that spew a combined 80 percent of the world’s emissions — should take place in the United States this fall, the official said.

The meeting will likely include the G8 developed countries, fast-developing China and India, and Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, South Korea and Russia.

Perino made clear the United States would continue to reject a European push for a proposal aimed at addressing global climate change through Kyoto-style caps on carbon emissions.

“We do not endorse global carbon trading,” Perino said.