U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham released the following statement on the Administration's global climate change initiatives:
"The Bush Administration is committed to a comprehensive, innovative program of domestic and international initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Those who question the Administration's commitment to addressing global climate change do not fully appreciate the global benefit of the scientific and technological investments the U.S. has made and is making through a variety of programs. The U.S. takes the issue of global climate change very seriously and is leading the world in investments, several billions of dollars each year, to understand and address it.
"The United States is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has the ultimate goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous human interference with the climate system. This can be accomplished in one of two ways -- through short-term excessive regulations like those that would be required for U.S. compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, or through the development of new low- or zero-emissions energy technologies that will allow us to make larger long-term reductions in emissions while maintaining economic growth.
"We have chosen the latter approach: the Bush Administration will spend approximately $4 billion during this fiscal year on climate change science and technology R&D and has requested increases in key investments in FY 2005. President Bush also supports more than $4 billion in tax incentives to spur the use of clean, renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.
"For FY 2005, the Bush Administration has requested increases of $115 million, or 50 percent, for U.S. participation in four international climate change technology initiatives: the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, Carbon Sequestration, Generation IV Nuclear Systems, and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. International cooperation is a key aspect of our technology approach, and we are pleased to be partners with the U.K. and/or the European Union in four of our most important multilateral efforts to address the risk of climate change. We have also negotiated climate change agreements with 14 countries or regional groups that together account for more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
"As we work on developing these long-term breakthrough energy technologies, we are also taking action in the near-term. Two years ago, President Bush set an aggressive national goal of reducing greenhouse gas intensity 18 percent by 2012. Since then we have vigorously pursued that goal through nearly 60 Federal programs, including: DOE's Climate VISION program, which involves voluntary industry-wide commitments to reduce emissions in 12 energy-intensive sectors, and EPA's Climate Leaders, which involves 50 major companies that have developed comprehensive climate change strategies with corporate-wide emissions reduction goals. The USDA has also modified its farm conservation programs to encourage farmers to set aside farmland for carbon sequestration.
"This Administration is proud of our Nation's leadership in climate change science and technology, and we intend to continue leading the world in our efforts."