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2008年5月11日 (日)


(April. 18, 2008)

A mess of emission cuts

米の脱温暖化策 世界を読めない大統領

The gist of the special announcement on climate change delivered by U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House on Wednesday left us doubting our ears. What could Bush be thinking? In that address, Bush spoke on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. He stated America's new national goal of halting the growth of such emissions by 2025. Yet this statement may also be construed as a declaration that his administration is content to allow emissions to continue growing in the United States over the next 17 years.


With Washington's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol a key factor at hand, the United States has in the past refused to list any numerical targets for cutting back on its emissions. In view of that, perhaps Bush wants to say that this shift from such a total hands-off approach represents a sea change in policy.

For the international community, however, benchmarks are already in place to stop the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

At the 13th session of the Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention held last December in Bali, debate ensued on the proposed objectives of shifting to reductions in worldwide emissions within 10 to 15 years, and having industrialized nations lower their 2020 emissions by 25 to 40 percent from 1990 levels.

These figures are based on trial calculations made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Although not official goals as such, they have emerged as important yardsticks for mounting measures against the threats posed by global warming.

The true enigma of Bush's statement, therefore, lies in the fact that he is effectively brushing aside the very undercurrent of this debate.

The United States is inarguably the world's most advanced industrialized state. It also accounts for the largest single share of CO2 emissions globally, according to 2005 statistics. But not only has this premier superpower failed to satisfy the benchmark criteria for industrialized countries, its leader now states that the United States may continue to increase emissions for 15 years past the targeted transition to cuts for the world at large.

It must also not be forgotten that these global benchmarks stem from discussions held at last year's Group of Eight summit in Germany. At that meeting, an accord was hammered out to devote serious study to reaching the goal of halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Last December's yardsticks represent a milestone in the quest to achieve this roadmap objective.
忘れてならないのは、これらの目安が、去年のG8サミットでの議論にもとづくものであることだ。サミットでは「50年までに世界全体の排出量を半減する」という目標を「真剣に検討する」と申し合わせた。目安は、その目標達成に必要とされる一里塚だ。 (quest=探索、探求、追求)

The Bush administration took part in this agreement, and supposedly shifted direction to join U.N.-led deliberations toward formulating a new framework after the expiration of the first term of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
Bush's latest proclamation thus casts grave doubts on whether the United States was serious in its summit commitments.

The greatest pending issue for the post-Kyoto negotiations, meanwhile, is whether China and India, major emitters that have yet to be assigned targets due to their status as developing nations, can be convinced to join the curbing framework. With Washington displaying such attitude at this critical juncture, the odds of convincing them to shoulder their shares of the burden appear slim at best.
(curb=制限する、抑制する、抑える)(the odds of convincing them to shoulder their shares of the burden appear slim at best 全く英語らしい表現ですね。翻訳者なかせ。外国の社説にはこの種の表現が多いですね。一つずつ吸収していくほかと思います)

In many camps, hopes are running high that Washington will change direction with the end of the Bush presidency. It is true that the three remaining candidates in the race for that office all appear to be more earnest about clamping down on global warming than Bush.

With the inauguration of the next U.S. president less than nine months away, however, it would be a shame to let time go to waste.

Why not, therefore, invite these three candidates to the Hokkaido Lake Toyako G-8 summit to be convened in northern Japan this July? With the battle against global warming high on the agenda at this international gathering, it would be helpful to gain the insights of the next U.S. President on this crucial issue.


The Asahi Shimbun, April 18(IHT/Asahi: April 19,2008)

朝日新聞4月18日号(英語版 2008年4月19日発行)


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