Here’s a piece of good news, the G8 Conference of industrialized nations could pass a strong resolution on climate change, calling on the world to rollback its greenhouse emissions when the G8 leaders meet in Germany in June.

But wait! According to a Washington Post story and other wire reports, the United States officials working on a draft of the resolution want to make some changes to the document.

The U.S. team wants to excise wording that would have the world’s eight most powerful industrialized nations endorse limiting greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent of 1990 levels by the year 2050. That’s a level that scientists consider necessary to stabilize the warming caused by human pollution.

The U.S. representatives also reportedly want to delete a section that would confirm the United Nations as the agreed-upon forum for crafting climate change accords and trim other wording that frames global warming as an urgent issue. Read the BBC story for more details.

And now for my editorial comment:

The irony here is that the Bush administration has said that there cannot be meaningful worldwide agreements on climate change without including large, fast-industrializing China and India. But China, India, South Africa and Brazil are invited to the G8 summit in Germany, June 6-8.

The administration also has said it favors voluntary reductions in emissions, which leaves us to conclude that the Bush team is thinking locally, but is not prepared to act globally. At least not on global warming. How uncharacteristic. Put it in another realm and the Bush team would be straining to take the lead.

All bipartisanship and varying views on the war in Iraq aside, you could make a good argument that the United States is strong on defense. But on global warming? Looks like a nation strong(ly) on the fence.

For more editorial comment, see the Gristmill blog.

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