Annan Hopes U.S. Will Change Mind on Greenhouse Gas
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday called it "unfortunate" that the United States had rejected a global treaty cutting greenhouse gas emissions and expressed hope Washington would change its mind.
"I consider that decision unfortunate," Annan said. "And I hope the U.S. position is not immutable."
President Bush's administration says the Kyoto accord on combating global warming is unfair because it puts an unacceptable burden on the U.S. economy and fails to target developing countries.
The U.S. move has drawn fierce criticism from Europe, Japan, Russia, China and elsewhere. The United States produces about 25 percent of the world's man-made greenhouse gas emissions, according to U.N. statistics.
Annan, speaking to reporters on his first day back at U.N. headquarters after two weeks in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, said the world body would press ahead on environmental issues regardless of the U.S. stance.
"Global warming is real. There is enough scientific evidence to indicate that it is real and that we need to take every step possible to try and halt it, and I think the U.N. will press ahead with the member states to ensure that this is done," he said.
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