Ross Clark in The Spectator
On 27 September, President George W. Bush will finally come in from the cold over global warming. On that day he will host a conference in Washington to be attended by what he has defined as the world’s 15 most polluting nations. He intends, for the first time, to commit the United States to slashing its carbon emissions.
That, anyway, is the positive spin. Alternatively, one might put Bush’s multilateralist initiative like this: he is fed up with being depicted as the bad boy of climate change. Rather than keeping the US out of the world’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, as he did when he withdrew from the Kyoto treaty, he has seen an opportunity in joining the process: to suppress industrial competition from the Third World. He has already made clear his price for committing the US to cutting carbon emissions: to impose similar cuts on the developing nations invited to the conference, which include China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia. Don’t be the least surprised if he gets away with it. It isn’t only President Bush who appears to think that it is the duty of the world’s poor to carry the can for the fossil fuel-guzzling habits of the West. One doesn’t have to deny, or even question, the science of global warming to come to the conclusion that the West’s policy on global warming is rapidly evolving into a giant protectionist racket against the developing world.