The following is an excerpt from a speech given by United States President George W. Bush in Washington on Thursday addressing his new strategy to battle climate change:
We need to harness the power of technology to help nations meet their growing energy needs while protecting the environment and addressing the challenge of global climate change.
In recent years, science has deepened our understanding of climate change and opened new possibilities for confronting it. The United States takes this issue seriously. The new initiative I am outlining today will contribute to the important dialogue that will take place in Germany next week. The United States will work with other nations to establish a new framework on greenhouse gas emissions for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
So my proposal is this: By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term global goal for reducing greenhouse gases. To help develop this goal, the United States will convene a series of meetings of nations that produce most greenhouse gas emissions, including nations with rapidly growing economies like India and China.
In addition to this long-term global goal, each country would establish midterm national targets, and programs that reflect their own mix of energy sources and future energy needs. Over the course of the next 18 months, our nations would bring together industry leaders from different sectors of our economies, such as power generation and alternative fuels and transportation. These leaders will form working groups that will cooperate on ways to share clean energy technology and best practices.
It's important to ensure that we get results, and so we will create a strong and transparent system for measuring each country's performance. This new framework would help our nations fulfill our responsibilities under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United States will work with all nations that are part of this convention to adapt to the impacts of climate change, gain access to clean and more energy-efficient technologies, and promote sustainable forestry and agriculture.
The way to meet this challenge of energy and global climate change is through technology, and the United States is in the lead. The world is on the verge of great breakthroughs that will help us become better stewards of the environment. Over the past six years, my administration has spent, along with the Congress, more than $12 billion in research on clean energy technology. We're the world's leader when it comes to figuring out new ways to power our economy and be good stewards of the environment.
We're investing in new technologies to produce electricity in cleaner ways, including solar and wind energy, clean coal technologies. If we can get a breakthrough in clean coal technologies, it's going to help the developing world immeasurably, and at the same time, help protect our environment.
We're spending a lot of money on clean, safe nuclear power. If you're truly interested in cleaning up the environment, or interested in renewable sources of energy, the best way to do so is through safe nuclear power. We're investing in new technologies that transform the way we fuel our cars and trucks. We're expanding the use of hybrid and clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel.
We're spending a lot of your money in figuring out ways to produce ethanol from products other than corn. One of these days, we'll be making fuel to power our automobiles from wood chips, to switchgrasses, to agricultural wastes. I think it makes sense to have our farmers growing energy, so that we don't have to import it from parts of the world where they may not like us too much. And it's good for our environment, as well.
We're pressing on with battery research for plug-in hybrid vehicles that can be powered by electricity from a wall socket, instead of gasoline. We're continuing to research and to advance hydrogen-powered vehicles that emit pure water instead of exhaust fumes; we're taking steps to make sure these technologies reach the market, setting new mandatory fuel standards that require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels by the year 2017. It's a mandatory fuel standard. We want to reduce our gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next 10 years, which will not only help our national security, it will make us better stewards of the environment. The United States is taking the lead, and that's the message I'm going to take to the G8.
Last week, the Department of Energy announced that in 2006, our carbon emissions decreased by 1.3 percent while our economy grew by 3.3 percent. This experience shows that a strong and growing economy can deliver both a better life for its people and a cleaner environment at the same time.
At the G8 summit, I'm going to encourage world leaders to increase their own investments in research and development. I'm looking forward to working with them. I'm looking forward to discussing ways to encourage more investment in developing nations by making low-cost financing options for clean energy a priority of the international development banks.