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White House Statement on the Ministerial Conference on Atmospheric Pollution and Climate Change

November 07, 1989

President Bush announced today that the United States has agreed with other industrialized nations that stabilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions should be achieved as soon as possible. The United States also agreed that it is timely to investigate quantitative targets to limit or reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The United States was joined by over 70 countries attending the Ministerial Conference on Atmospheric Pollution and Climate Change in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

In joining the declaration at the Ministerial Conference, the United States recommended that international funding be directed toward funding a chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) phaseout in developing countries and promoting efficient use of energy. In addition, the declaration:

urges all countries to take steps individually and collectively to promote greater energy conservation and efficiency;

recognizes the need to stabilize the emissions of carbon dioxide and some other greenhouse gases, while ensuring sustainable development of the world economy;

agrees that developing countries will need to be assisted financially and technically;

urges all countries to join and intensify the ongoing work in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with respect to a framework convention.

The President said: "I asked my EPA Administrator, Bill Reilly, and my Science Advisor, Allan Bromley, to continue the leadership role which the U.S. has performed since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed in 1988."

The President also praised the conference for providing the United States an excellent opportunity for useful consultations, both informally and formally, with many of the participating countries, including many countries that have not previously been active in the IPCC process. President Bush also noted that such conferences contribute substantially to the growing consensus among policymakers with respect to global climate change.

William Reilly, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Dr. Allan Bromley, Science and Technology Advisor to President Bush, emphasized during the conference that the United States currently devotes $500 million to the study of issues related to climate change and plans to increase this to about $1 billion in FY 1991. Additionally, through such measures as the Clean Air Act, more stringent fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, aggressive energy conservation, and reforestation programs, among others, the United States is already playing a leading role in reducing CO2 emissions. The President announced in March that the United States was committed to total phaseout of CFC's by the year 2000. CFC's account for about 25 percent of United States greenhouse emissions.

The United States delegates emphasized their support for the IPCC process, in which it chairs the Response Strategies Working Group, one of three such working groups. The IPCC will hold a plenary meeting in Washington, DC, in February 1990. Special reports on the science, effects, and responses to global warming will be available later in 1990.

In parallel with this work, a working group of the Domestic Policy Council, chaired by Dr. Allan Bromley, is undertaking an intensive program examining the potential impacts of climate change and their associated economic consequences. With the results of these working groups and the IPCC report in the fall of 1990, the United States expects to play a leading role negotiating the framework convention anticipated to be called for by the IPCC process. The United States is currently developing policies based on sound analyses to guide national and international actions directed toward eventual solutions to greenhouse problems.

George Bush, White House Statement on the Ministerial Conference on Atmospheric Pollution and Climate Change Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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