WASHINGTON - September 30 - The following is a statement of National Environmental Trust President Philip E. Clapp, on Russian Approval of the Kyoto Protocol:
"This is a major defeat for President Bush. After he pulled the U.S. out of international negotiations, the Administration quietly pressured Japan and then Russia to block the Kyoto Protocol from coming into force.
"If he is re-elected, it will put the President in a very bad position at next year's G8 meeting, where the host, Prime Minister Blair, has designated global warming as one of the two top issues for the summit. Blair's clear goal is to push the U.S. into a position where it has to start changing its position, and with Kyoto in force and all the other participants having ratified, the Bush Administration faces another position of total international isolation.
"This ends the fantasy some American companies have entertained that cutting carbon emissions was something that they could postpone thinking about for another decade or more.
"The rest of the developed world is now putting an emissions reduction plan in place, and any American CEO who doesn't think he or she had better start planning for reductions here isn't serving the long-term interests of shareholders very well.
"When it comes into force, the Kyoto Protocol will have a very big impact on the U.S., even though we haven't ratified it. American corporations -- some of our biggest businesses -- will now have to learn how to cut carbon pollution in their European operations. They will start figuring out how to participate in emissions credit trading markets. Some of them will want to buy cheap credits before the price starts to get bid up. Over time, Russia's decision to ratify and bring Kyoto into force is likely to spur a number of major American companies to start pushing for U.S. participation."
Quick Facts on Kyoto:
-- To enter into force, at least 55 counties responsible for 55 percent of the world's emissions of 1990 levels of global warming pollution must ratify.
-- To date, 125 nations have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, including the E.U., Japan and Canada. These nations represent 44.2 percent of the world's emissions.
-- Russia represents 17.4 percent of the world's emissions, the U.S. represents 36.1.
-- The US still has no plan to address global warming.