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Bush wants climate deal that gives 'none a free ride'

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jan 28, 2008
US President George W. Bush called Monday for completing an international deal aimed at cutting global-warming greenhouse gases that involves "every major economy and gives none a free ride."

In his annual State of the Union speech, Bush plugged a US initiative which stresses uses of nuclear power and technology to trap emissions from coal plants that critics fear will undermine UN-led efforts to fight climate change.

"To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology," he said.

"Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil," he told both houses of Congress.

He recalled that lawmakers had responded to his call last year to pass laws to cut oil consumption over the next decade and urged them now to "fund new technologies that can generate coal power by capturing carbon emissions."

He called for increasing the use of "renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power," while calling for investments in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels for cars and trucks in the future.

"Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources," said the president.

"And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases," Bush said.

"This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride," he added.

The White House last month voiced "serious concerns" about a deal reached at the UN climate conference in Bali, emphasizing the need for major developing countries to be included in greenhouse gas emissions targets.

With the United States isolated in battling against new emissions goals for developed countries, the White House renewed its call for emissions targets for countries like China and India.

The White House on Friday pressed its own agenda on climate change with plans for a meeting in Hawaii starting Wednesday.

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House carbon-offset program scrutinized
Washington (UPI) Jan 28, 2008
An $89,000 carbon offset program initiated in the U.S. House of Representatives stirred debate over the controversial green initiative, officials said.

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