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US Continues Objections to Kyoto Treaty After Japan Ratifies Pact - 2002-06-04

Japan has ratified an international treaty on global warming and is calling for the United States to do the same. President Bush rejects that plan in favor of voluntary guidelines for polluters to reduce emissions.

The global climate treaty requires industrialized nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by more than five-percent during the next decade.

In ratifying the Kyoto Treaty, Japan joins European Union nations that approved the accord last Friday. All are calling for the Bush Administration to sign onto the plan, especially because the United States is the world's largest polluter.

President Bush says he will not approve the treaty because its restrictions would hurt American industry. "The Kyoto Treaty would severely damage the United States economy, and I do not accept that," said Mr. Bush. "I accept the alternative that we put out, that we can grow our economy and at the same time, through technologies, improve our environment."

President Bush wants U.S. industry to take voluntary measures to slow the rate of growth in so-called greenhouse gas emissions.

A U.S. government report to the United Nations last week acknowledges that global warming will affect the American environment during the next century. The report concludes that no matter how much emissions are cut in the future, nothing can be done to reverse the consequences of decades of pollution.