The President's Commitment to Climate Change

The Kyoto Protocol is a controversial series of proposed goals, not a final plan of action. At this time, many nations have chosen not to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

President Bush is tackling this difficult and complex issue and is the first president to introduce a number of proposals and initiatives to improve air quality and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. President Bush's goal is to cut greenhouse gas intensity by 18% over the next eight years, the equivalent of taking 70 million cars off the road.

President Bush has proposed and received record funding levels for climate change research. He has requested $238 million for the Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) for 2005, a 40% increase. The Initiative seeks to eliminate the uncertainties over the causes and effects of climate change and determine a long-term solution to any problems. This funding will also be used to develop new technology and infrastructure for climate science modeling, better understand the impact of aerosols, and study the effects of carbon on our climate.

Almost $3 billion has been requested for the Climate Change Technology Program, which employs several federal agencies to speed research and development of emission-reduction technologies. Some of the larger programs include:
  • FutureGen, a first-of-its-kind power plant that burns coal to produce energy, but releases no gas emissions. Additionally, the plant will generate hydrogen as a byproduct, which could then be used as a fuel source.
  • An increased use of hydrogen as a fuel source and as a part of the FreedomCAR program, which will speed development of zero-emission automobiles and provide the necessary infrastructure, such as refueling stations.
  • An international project to develop fusion energy as a viable, clean and renewable energy source. Many nations, including the U.S., have pledged $5 billion for this project.
Recently announced, the Methane-to-Markets Partnership will work with businesses to harness the methane gas that is created as a byproduct of landfills nationwide, as well as some manufacturers. This natural gas will be harnessed as a renewable, clean alternative energy source. President Bush has already committed $53 million to the program, and the U.S. will soon be joined by other nations, including China, Mexico, and Australia, in a global program.

The International Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) charter, signed June 25, 2003, will provide leadership to countries on research and development of carbon sequestration technologies. Unlike the Kyoto protocol, China, India and Brazil joined the U.S. in signing the CSLF charter.

Further, the President's Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology released the Climate Change Science Program, a joint federal strategic plan to address long-term global climate issues. It is an unprecedented program involving 1,200 scientists and stakeholders from 35 countries. The Bush Administration has provided $103 million over two years expand new global observation technologies to accurately study the world's climate.

Climate VISION is a public-private partnership with a wide variety of industrial sectors, from power producers to manufacturers to refiners, coming together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Bush Administration's promotion of pro-jobs emission reduction and climate change policies are a strong foundation for increasing jobs, strengthening the economy and protecting the environment we cherish."
John Pritzlaff, founder and board member of TIDE -- a winner of the United Nations 2002 Sustainable Development Award at the World Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bush Administration launched the Global Earth Observation System. This is the first time nearly 50 countries will coordinate data on global climate trends to map out, predict and understand changes in climate and ecosystems due to manmade and natural influences. The system will link ground, oceanic and satellite data on atmospheric, geological, and other trends and process them in one location. With this, nations will be able to accurately plan for any future climate changes for the first time, from agricultural impacts to the future spread of diseases.

"Ecosystems are the lifeblood of civilization. It's really important we monitor changes and put information in the hands of decision makers that is scientifically valid, so they can make sound decisions."
Mark Schaefer, NatureServe President, Washington Post July 26, 2004.

"From the point of view of weather and climate-sensitive economic sectors, this is one of the most important investments taxpayers can do to provide better information."
Ronald D. McPherson, American Meteorological Society Executive Director, Washington Post, July 26, 2004.