Leading players in talks to forge a pact for tackling climate change took the lash on Thursday to President George W. Bush’s new blueprint for global warming, with Germany mocking it as “Neanderthal.”
At a ministerial-level meeting of major carbon emitters, South Africa blasted the Bush proposal as a disastrous retreat by the planet’s number-one polluter and a slap to poor countries.
The European Union — which had challenged the United States to follow its lead on slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020 — also voiced disappointment.
His proposals “will not contribute to the fight against climate change,” EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told AFP, adding he hoped the US would “reconsider its options and policies.”
“Time is running out and we have the duty to reach an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009,” said Dimas.
Germany accused Bush of turning back the clock to before last December’s UN climate talks in Bali and even to before last July’s G8 summit.
In a statement entitled “Bush’s Neanderthal speech,” German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said: “His speech showed not leadership but losership. We are glad that there are also other voices in the United States.”