TERENCE SMITH: On day three of his European tour, President Bush was in Gothenburg, Sweden, for a meeting with leaders of the European Union's 15 member nations. One of the most controversial issues: Global warming. In the streets, thousands demonstrated against the President's rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, the 1997 agreement that would commit countries to reduce greenhouse emissions. The President has argued that the treaty was wrong to exempt developing nations like China and India, and would hurt the U.S. economically. That stance has been assailed by European leaders, and at a press conference today, Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, the current EU president, said the two sides had agreed to disagree.
GORAN PERSSON: The European Union will stick to the Kyoto protocol and go for ratification process. U.S. has chosen another policy. But we have the same targets, and we have to meet the same problems. Climate change is not isolated to Europe or to America, it's a global threat. So nevertheless, if you are in favor or against the Kyoto protocol, you have to take action. So we agree to disagreed about substance, but agreed to go on with some type of procedure that can lead us back to a position that we can cooperate and try to support each other. We will call for personal representatives to follow up our discussion, and that will mean that we send a signal that we go on ahead with the Kyoto protocol; the American government go on ahead with their policy.
TERENCE SMITH: For his part, President Bush also emphasized areas of cooperation.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: As the prime minister said, we don't agree on the Kyoto Treaty, but we do agree that climate change is a serious issue, and we must work together. We agree that climate change requires a global response, and agree to intensify cooperation on science and on technology. We didn't feel like the Kyoto Treaty was well-balanced. It didn't include developing nations. The goals were not realistic.
However, that doesn't mean we cannot continue to work together, and will work together, on reducing greenhouse gases. One: We must stabilize emissions. Two: Results must be measured, and we've got to spend money and time on additional science, which we're willing to do and willing to cooperate with the EU on. That we must be flexible in our solution. I think it's important to understand that things and information changes, and therefore any solution that we agree to must be flexible. Four: That we believe that our economies can grow and at the same time come up with climate change solutions. Five: That we're willing to look at market-based solutions. And six: That these solutions ought to be global. I understand the concerns of people in Europe. The prime minister was most eloquent in his assessment and summary of the attitudes of people not only in Sweden, but in Europe. People in our nation care about global warming and greenhouse emissions as well.
TERENCE SMITH: In fact, no EU country has yet ratified Kyoto, although more than 30 smaller nations have done so. EU Commission President Prodi was asked why not.
ROMANO PRODI: There is no one single country who has declared not to ratify it. The ratification process will start soon, and it started already some countries. It's going on. And there is no one, till now, message of refusal or delay of ratification.
TERENCE SMITH: The EU meeting goes on for two more days, but Mr. Bush heads to Warsaw, Poland, tomorrow.
TERENCE SMITH: We get more on the Kyoto accord and the U.S.-Europe relationship from Terry Anderson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and executive director of the free- market-oriented Political Economy Research Center; and from Billy Tauzin, Republican chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and from Joe Romm, executive director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions-- he served in the Clinton administration as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Fuels-- and from Svend Auken, Denmark's Minister of Environment and Energy. Welcome to you all.
Mr. Minister, let me ask you first, you heard the Swedish prime minister describe it as an agreement to disagree on Kyoto. What is your reaction to that?
SVEND AUKEN: I think that is the best we could hope for. Unfortunately, Americans do not want to, to sign up to ratify the Kyoto agreement on reductions, which is I think a terrible thing. But taking that as a fact, it's good that we have agreed that Europe and I hope Japan will go on and ratify the Kyoto protocol and that we'll continue our dialogue with the United States. And that the good result of that is that I take the President's words as a guarantee that the Americans will not try to block Europe and Japan in ratifying the Kyoto protocol. On the other hand, we promised to discuss with him, it was not true what was said in that none of us have ratified the Kyoto protocol. In my country just two weeks ago, 90 percent conservatives, social democrats, everybody, 90 percent of all the members of parliament decided to ratify the Kyoto protocol. But Europe, we can only ratify all together and we will do so when the rules of the game have been set up..
TERENCE SMITH: The process is not entirely complete but it's on the way.
SVEND AUKEN: The parliament has made it's decision, it's in a sense…
TERENCE SMITH: Congressman Tauzin, I'm curious, the minister describes it as a terrible thing that the United States has decided not to go along with the Kyoto protocol. Is it a terrible thing?
REP. W.J. "BILLY" TAUZIN: Of course not. It's simply a recognition that the Kyoto protocol is essentially dead until and unless an awful lot of countries who haven't yet ratified agree to do so, and no one seems willing to complete that process. Denmark and France have expressed a willingness but the EU nations have not ratified it. Only one country, one country that is required to reduce emissions under the protocol, Romania has ratified it.
All of the other small countries who have ratified are not required to reduce emissions one iota. What the President said is we are willing to work with the EU and the entire global community on reducing greenhouse gases. We think it's serious. We are prepared to come up with a plan that works with you to do that, but we are not going to pursue a ratification of a treaty that cannot be ratified in the United States. The Senate voted 95 to nothing before Clinton signed the Kyoto protocol indicating they would not go along with the treaty that did not apply to every nation equally across the globe.
TERENCE SMITH: Mr. Minister, the Congressman said it's dead on arrival?
SVEND AUKEN: I don't believe that. Technically we cannot ratify it before the rules have been written down and that is why we are meeting in Bonne to write down the rules. After that, then Europe will ratify. We are committed to ratify before the meeting in Johannesburg ten years after Rio so it will happen.
The one fundamental thing is for the United States to promise not to interfere and block other nations from doing what is necessary in order to achieve the global result and, on the other hand, we should promise you that we will work with you as the President Bush said in order to give a good role for the biggest economy in the world, the American economy, and I would, I'm just a visitor in your country. I would be very happy if you would agree with me that it would not be fair for the United States to block other nations to do what they deem necessary.
REP. W.J. "BILLY" TAUZIN: Let me tell you I think that is perfectly okay. We have no interest in blocking anyone from agreeing to any staged reduction, any mandatory reductions you want to agree to under whatever terms your own country wants to agree to it. What we have simply recognized is reality in this country and that is that the reduction -- mandatory reductions required under the Kyoto for the United States were simply unrealistic.
I just got a presentation from Sandia Lab officials yesterday that indicated that we would virtually have to eliminate 50 percent of the electric generation in this country from coal to meet the standards by 2020. We would have to either do that or completely shut down transportation in this country or pay billions of dollars to purchase allowables from other countries. That's simply unrealistic. And we have to, as the president said, pursue a more realistic course that helps us to help the global community achieve the goals we all agreed to in Rio a long time ago.
TERENCE SMITH: Joe Romm, what does this do in your opinion, this difference of opinion to the efforts to curb greenhouse emissions globally?
JOSEPH ROMM: Well, I think it's a major setback really. It's kind of ironic in the President's trip to Europe that on the one hand in the case of strategic defense he is willing to spend tens of billions of dollars on technologies that don't yet work to solve a problem that doesn't yet exist. Yet here we have global warming, a very real problem as the National Academy of Sciences just said, and he is really not willing to take any serious action on it even though we have the solutions today.
The president says that he is concerned about the costs of the treaty. But his new national energy plan would increase emissions of greenhouse gases, the President's budget would reduce spending on energy efficiency and renewable energy by $3 billion. My center works with dozens of companies to deploy technology solutions off the shelf today. Any company that wants to can reduce its greenhouse gas missions while reducing its energy bill. And if we had leadership from Washington, you could see the entire country reducing its emissions and the nation's energy bill would drop.
TERENCE SMITH: Terry Anderson, what is your view of this, if in fact this does result in a delay of the curbing of greenhouse emissions - is that -- how serious is that?
TERRY ANDERSON: A delay is really a good thing simply because we will get better science as the president has called for. And I think the president is going to be willing to put some research dollars into that science. If we did everything that is required by Kyoto today given an assumed all the sciences correct it would save us just slightly more than .1 of one degree by 2100. That means we would have instead of 3 degrees Celsius we would have 2.9. If we simply wait and get better science and get better technology, which I think the president is committed to, then we can save money, achieve the goals of solving global warming if it's a problem. And I think that is the kind of thing that this administration and this president want to do.
TERENCE SMITH: Mr. Minister, what about the experience of Denmark?
SVEND AUKEN: Our experience is that you can have enormous gains in energy efficiency. We have prosperity in Denmark the same as the United States. We only use half the energy per citizen that the United States does. We shift to renewable energy. We already achieve 20 percent of our power supply in renewable energy - we're moving towards 1/3. And it has given thousands of jobs in Denmark. Denmark alone --
TERENCE SMITH: Created jobs?
SVEND AUKEN: Created jobs, more than 50 percent of the world wind energy turbines are made on Danish technology and it's given thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in export income - is just one example, as Mr. Romm just said that we are using less energy by being more efficient, by using renewables, you save money and you make jobs -- not the other way around. Could I just also say on the science of it, that as a matter of fact, that no other question do we have better science than this.
Seventeen national Academies of Science including the American Academy of Science experts have come out to say man made greenhouse gas emissions really cause climate change. Therefore we are obligated. There are scientists that say cigarette smoking doesn't cause lung cancer. There are people who say HIV doesn't cause AIDS, but 95 percent of the scientists say otherwise. Therefore we as politicians should act and we should do something together with the United States and we should stop the polemic and work together to achieve that.
TERENCE SMITH: Congressman Tauzin what about that experience, the economic experience, in Denmark is that a model for the United States?
REP. W.J. "BILLY" TAUZIN: Well, of course it is. We are practicing that same model. If you look at the president's energy plans, you see in it graphs that indicate that America has doubled its energy efficiency per unit of GDP. And we're going to double it again. In fact, the energy proposals that are going to go through my committee this year will focus on conservation, renewable alternative fuels. But having done all of that, we are still going to have an impossible task of achieving the reductions of the Kyoto. The Senate has already said it very clearly before the -- President Clinton went to Kyoto and signed the accord which by the way he never presented to the Senate to ratify.
That ought to tell you something. The Senate basically said, look, we are willing to go along with mandatory reductions in this country as long as everyone in the world is ready to go along with it. But you are not going to single out some countries to carry all the burden and not others. And if we can come to some agreements to use new technologies and we are willing to invest in them, and alternatives fuels and renewables, we're going to do all those things.
And the commitment the President made in Sweden today is one we all share. We are simply saying that this is a burden if it is so real, if all the academies are agreeing it's a global problem, then the whole global community ought to be committed to working together on it and nations ought not be able to say, well, we signed a treaty and ratified it, but we don't have to do anything.
TERENCE SMITH: Joe Romm, that is a dark picture the Congressman paints of the consequences of trying to meet or meeting the Kyoto requirements; is it so?
JOSEPH ROMM: No, not at all. Let's take one example of a well-known large energy using company --Dupont. Dupont pledged that between 1990 and 2010 it would keep its energy consumption flat while it grew 60 percent and in 2010, it would get 10 percent of its power from renewable energy. And if Dupont can do it, I think the entire country can do it. My concern is that by failing to take strong action what is going to happen by the time we get around to taking action, which we obviously are, we're going to be buying wind turbines from the Europeans and the Japanese and losing the jobs that we would create otherwise if we were the leader, which really we ought to be.
TERENCE SMITH: Terry Anderson, is that a concern?
TERRY ANDERSON: Well, it's a concern that is important. But I think the point the president is making is that this treaty requires that the United States reduce its emissions by 40 percent more than the EU. And then you have countries such as France that wouldn't have to reduce at all and some countries that could even increase. That doesn't even take into account the developing nations, which aren't accounted for at all. And they are the ones where the big increases are going to come. The president cares very much about a level playing field here. This is raising the cost of your competitor and I think that is why the EU likes it. If they can raise the cost to the United States of our production processes without raising their own, that has got to be a good thing for their economy but certainly not for ours.
TERENCE SMITH: Well, what about the level playing field and what about the developing countries, the really big ones like China and India?
SVEND AUKEN: Just mention Denmark has half the emissions of the United States. We are obligated to reduce by 21 percent, by 21 percent whereas the United States only has to reduce by 7 percent. China, the last five years, China has reduced by 17 percent whereas United States has increased by 7 percent -- despite the fact that the Chinese use only 1/7 of the energies that every American uses. So as a matter of fact the rest of the world is doing the job and as we just said now, we ratify, we undertake to do something and we certainly hope that the Americans will play an active part as well. And therefore we are glad that there will be -- despite the decision on Kyoto -- cooperation to mitigate this terrible problem.
TERENCE SMITH: Congressman Tauzin, is there a concern on your part about this breach, this argument continuing as it is between the United States and the European countries on this? Is there a diplomatic or even political side to this that Americans should be concerned about?
REP. W.J. "BILLY" TAUZIN: Well, of course. I mean the EU and the American relationship has been extraordinarily strong economically, socially, militarily. We have huge and continuing good relations with EU and we'll continue to have them. I think the president is trying to say that, look, we are not going to be non players but what he is saying, in effect, is we are prepared to cooperate in ways that are not going to sacrifice the American economy while others make no sacrifice at all.
We don't have to reduce by 7 percent. We have to reduce 7 percent below 1990 levels, which if you look at the levels we are going to have to reduce under that agreement if we ratified it would amount to about a 30-40 percent reduction, which is huge, which would cripple this economy. We are told it would have the same kind of shock as the 1970s oil shock on the American economy. Now that might be good for some other economy that is compete with us but that would certainly be unsustainable in American.
TERENCE SMITH: Joe Romm, very quickly, we only have a few seconds left, but you were shaking your head -
JOSEPH ROMM: This notion that we have to cut 30-40 percent is ridiculous. We have to cut 7 percent below 1990 levels. If we waited until the last year to drop, then we would have a 30-40 percent cut. The fact of the matter is, is that everyone plays under the same rules. We would trade emissions so the EU has to basically achieve the same kind of target under the same umbrella that we all do. So I just don't see how it's going to benefit them and hurt us.
TERENCE SMITH: All Right. We'll have to leave it there for the moment. Thank you all very much.