November 12, 1998
President Clinton Signs Climate Treaty
Presidential Signature On Kyoto Protocol Shows Leadership The Congress Should Follow
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today praised President Clinton’s signing of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and called for immediate action by the US to implement the agreement. The Protocol, which was agreed to by 160 nations in 1997, commits its signatories to controlling climate change by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol now awaits ratification by the US Senate.
“Signature is a necessary step forward. The same people who opposed signature opposed the Protocol, and oppose protecting the planet,” said Fred Krupp, executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund. “But the buildup of greenhouse gases will not be stopped by the stroke of a pen. The administration must back up their work to move the negotiations forward here in Buenos Aires with real effort to reduce emissions at home.”
“Far-sighted companies such as British Petroleum and Royal Dutch/Shell are investing in early reduction of greenhouse gases now. These are smart business investments,” said Krupp.
“The Protocol’s promise will only translate into real environmental gains for the planet if its commitments are fully implemented, and early reductions of greenhouse gases are achieved,” said Joe Goffman, senior EDF attorney. “Issues such as compliance mechanisms and the rules for emissions trading must be swiftly finalized by the international community.”
“The diplomatic pace is gradual,” said EDF chief scientist Dr. Michael Oppenheimer. “The buildup of greenhouse gases isn’t. It’s time for real action on climate change.”
The Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national, NY-based nonprofit organization, represents 300,000 members. EDF links science, economics, and law to create innovative, equitable, and economically viable solutions to today’s environmental problems.