U.S Wants Nations to Increase Emissions, says Solar Advocate

The head of the Earth Day network says he will release documents on Tuesday which substantiate his claims that the United States has a vested interest in increasing greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-04-16 <> Denis Hayes, the founder of the first Earth Day celebrations and the current chair of the Earth Day Network, will release statements at the National Press Club in Washington to show that the U.S. is failing to help curtail global warming while complaining about GHG emissions from developing countries. He says he will show that the U.S. and the World Bank have a role in global warming, and will charge that the current U.S. policy will increase emissions. Climate change is the focus of Earth Day 2001 this Sunday. “The Bush administration recently scuttled implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, complaining loudly that the developing world wouldn’t do its fair share to curb greenhouse gas emissions under the treaty,” says a news release. “Meanwhile, the United States is quietly investing massive sums in new fossil-fueled power projects in those countries which would guarantee rapid increases in their emissions, accelerating climate change.” In addition to Hayes, the Tuesday conference will feature Daphne Wysham of the Institute for Policy Studies and coordinator of its sustainable energy network. SEEN exposes the role of public policy and public funding for energy projects in developing world which are responsible for increasing GHG emissions. The United States government is the principal shareholder in the World Bank, other international financial institutions and export credit agencies which back large new coal-burning plants and other fossil-fueled energy projects throughout the developing world, the two advocates charge. Research on investments in oil, gas and coal projects has prompted the World Bank to propose an internal strategic review of its carbon energy portfolio. Critics claim the planned large-scale investments will accelerate global warming, reduce investment in renewable energies, and have negative impacts on local populations and environments. Producers of renewable energy certify that their power is a commercially competitive alternative to fossil fuels, but the groups claim that renewables are denied preferential financing from the World Bank, OPIC, Ex-Im and other financial institutions, although such funding has been provided to fossil fuels for many years. The proposed budget released by the White House reduces federal funds for renewables development 50 percent. Hayes is the former head of the federal Solar Energy Research Institute (now called the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado) during the administration of President Jimmy Carter. He was selected by Look Magazine has one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century, and as ‘Hero of the Planet’ by Time magazine.