German Environment Minister Calls Bush’s CO2 Plan ‘Neanderthal’

April 18, 2008

U.S. President George W. Bush’s plan to halt a rise in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 could undermine, rather than support, efforts to combat climate change, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

“Gabriel criticizes Bush’s Neanderthal speech” was the title of a news release from the Environment Ministry on Thursday.

“Without binding limits and reduction targets for industrial countries, climate change will not be stopped,” said Gabriel, adding the United States and Europe had to lead the way in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“The motto of his speech is: losing instead of leading,” said Gabriel, a Social Democrat in conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government.

Bush on Wednesday unveiled plans to cap U.S. emissions by 2025, toughening an existing target to slow the growth of emissions by 2012 but critics say the world needs tougher action to combat global warming.

The United States is the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter. Germany is the world’s sixth largest CO2 emitter and its efforts to reduce emissions have stagnated since the mid-1990s.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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