George W. Bush photo

Remarks Prior to Discussions With Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany and an Exchange With Reporters in Genoa

July 21, 2001

President Bush. It's my honor to be meeting today with one of America's strongest friends and allies and one of Europe's strongest and best leaders. I appreciate Gerhard Schroeder's openness, his grasp of issues that are important not only to Europe but to the world. I told the press earlier that we've had a very, very positive dialog. We discussed a lot of important issues: how to expand global trade as well as how to assume our responsibilities as wealthier nations to the poor nations in a constructive way. It's been a very good experience, and it's also been a positive experience to be able to again sit down with friends and continue our dialog from days gone by.

So Mr. Chancellor, thank you for being here.

Chancellor Schroeder. Thanks.

President Bush. I'll be glad to answer a couple of questions.

Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change

Q. Mr. President and Mr. Chancellor, can you both address whether you've reached any kind of accommodation on global warming and the Kyoto treaty?

President Bush. We have reached an accommodation, and here it is.

Q. Can you talk about it?

President Bush. Yes, I'd be glad to. We both agree to reduce greenhouse gases, and we both agree to continue dialog.

Q. On how—the dialog on how——

President Bush. On how, right. And I will explain to the Chancellor that our Nation will come with a strategy. We're in the process of developing one. But I can't be any more sincere than I have been in saying that we need to reduce greenhouse gases, and we'll work a plan to do so.

But I've also been very open with the Chancellor, from my very first visit in the Oval Office, that the methodology in the Kyoto accord is something that would harm our Nation's economy. And therefore, we're looking for a different alternative to achieve the same goal.

And I will tell you this: In Sweden, Chancellor Schroeder was very, very strong in his statement about Kyoto and very positive about his position there; on the other hand, was—explained to the other leaders that my position, while he didn't agree with it, was one that he understood. And I appreciated very much his leadership there.

Chancellor Schroeder. Certainly, the President is very right in just saying that we do share the same targets here. Both of us are thinking that it is very important that we do substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That is very important, indeed. And we will obviously have to get into a very intensive dialog about these things. This will have to happen; some things will have to happen as a consequence of it.

Now, obviously, on the tool of Kyoto, as such, we do differ when it comes to the assessment thereof. But obviously, we have done so in a very open, in a very friendly matter, dealing with one another in a constructive way as friends. And I think friends do deal with these things as friends, and we certainly do.

Upcoming Meeting With President Vladimir Putin of Russia

Q. Do you plan to make a specific proposal to President Putin tomorrow on a strategic framework? Did you see an outline or something?

President Bush. I plan to have a very honest and open dialog with the President that will continue our discussions about how to keep the peace. I intend to share with the German Chancellor the nature of our discussion in the past and, again, what I intend to talk about tomorrow.

I think it's very important for us to continue making progress on whether or not we can agree to a new strategic framework. As well, we will have high-level talks with others in my administration, with the Russians. It's a very positive development, I think, for the world.

I can tell you right now that my relationship with President Putin is better than it was in Slovenia by virtue of the fact that we're spending more informal time together. One of the benefits of these meetings is, is that we get to see each other at places other than just sitting around roundtables discussing issues. And so, at the receptions, we've been able to have some idle chatter. Some of it may be of interest to you; some of it probably wouldn't be. But nevertheless, we're able to continue a dialog in a very friendly and open way, and I think that's going to be very important for our ability to work together on a lot of issues, particularly that of a new strategic framework.

Q. But do you see discussing things like specific numbers or his plan for joint——

President Bush. I think it's probably best that I talk to him first.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6 p.m. at the Jolly Marina Hotel. Chancellor Schroeder spoke in German, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to Discussions With Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany and an Exchange With Reporters in Genoa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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