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Bush Climate-Change Conference Has Doubters

President Bush has invited 15 countries to a two-day conference on global climate change. But the meeting is being greeted with some skepticism.

The U.S. emits a quarter of the world's greenhouse gases, and the Bush administration has been criticized for its unwillingness to commit to cutting those emissions.

Mr. Bush took the U.S. out of the Kyoto protocol, the international treaty designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Some countries are afraid Mr. Bush will use this week's talks as a substitute for a binding treaty when Kyoto expires in five years.

The administration counters that the president has done far more on climate change than he is getting credit for. Officials point to President Bush's proposal to replace 20 percent of the country's gasoline with renewable fuels.

Mr. Bush is expected to propose that the group set a long-term global goal for reducing emissions, and that each nation outline its own plans by the end of next year.

There is agreement on one point: Without a strong commitment from the U.S. and China, real progress on global warming will be difficult.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elizabeth Shogren
Elizabeth Shogren is an NPR News Science Desk correspondent focused on covering environment and energy issues and news.