White House wants nature off the agenda - Washington Post August 30, 2005 8:10 AM
From: jim robertson, Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 07:51:57 +0000
White House wants nature off the agenda
Saturday, August 27, 2005
The Bush administration, whose pro-business policies on climate change
have long rankled environmentalists and U.N. delegates, is pressing to
scrap a proposal to have world leaders gathering in New York next month
express "respect for nature."
That phrase was included in a draft statement of principles to be agreed
to by 175 heads of state and government attending a Sept. 14 United
Nations summit on poverty and U.N. reform. The statement invited leaders
to embrace a set of "core values" that unite the international
community, including respect for human rights, freedom, equality,
tolerance, multilateralism and respect for nature.
The offending phrase would place no fresh legal or financial burdens on
U. S. taxpayers, but the Bush administration voiced concern that it
would distract attention from the main goal: reforming the United
Ric Grenell of the U.S. mission to the United Nations said the phrase
"is too broad a subject, and if we had to define the multiple ways the
U.S. government respects nature, the document would be too long and way
off its original intent."
Susan Brown, a spokeswoman for the World Wildlife Fund International,
said ditching the phrase represents a blow to efforts to keep
environmental issues a priority of governments.
U.N. delegates were puzzled by the U.S. initiative. "Nature is something
which needs a lot of respect," said Yuri Fedotov, a senior Russian
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