(May 31, 2007)

White House reveals climate change plan

From Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House unveiled a long-term strategy on climate change on Thursday, with plans to gather the countries that emit the most greenhouse gases and to cut tariff barriers to sharing environmental technology.

Coming a week before a meeting of the world's richest nations in Germany at which global warming will be a key issue, the U.S. strategy calls for consensus on long-term goals for reducing the greenhouse gases that spur global warming, but not before the end of 2008, a senior White House official said.

The official, speaking before President George W. Bush's official announcement, denied it was timed to coincide with next week's Group of Eight meeting. Bush has been under pressure from European allies to give ground on climate change.

In negotiations before the summit, Washington rejected setting targets to reduce greenhouse gases, championed by other participants.

"We're announcing now because we're ready," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The plan calls for eliminating tariff barriers within six months, freeing up the distribution of new environmentally friendly technology, the official said.

The gathering of the biggest greenhouse gas countries -- those that spew a combined 80 percent of the world's emissions -- should take place in the United States this fall, the official said.

The meeting will likely include the G8 developed countries, fast-developing China and India, and Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, South Korea and Russia, according to the official.

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