Climate change, says President George W. Bush, is one of “the great challenges of our time”:
“We must lead the world to produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and we must do it in a way that does not undermine economic growth or prevent nations from delivering greater prosperity for their people. We know this can be done. Last year, America grew our economy while also reducing greenhouse gases. Several other nations have made similar strides.”
Mr. Bush said that the challenges of dealing with climate change and producing the energy needed by an expanding world economy can be met:
“These challenges share a common solution: technology. By developing new low-emission technologies, we can meet the growing demand for energy and at the same time reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, our nations have an opportunity to leave the debates of the past behind, and reach a consensus on the way forward.”
The United States and others, said President Bush, will seek to reach a “global consensus” by 2009 over how to confront these challenges:
“Each nation will design its own separate strategies for making progress toward achieving this long-term goal. These strategies will reflect each country's different energy resources, different stages of development, and different economic needs.”
President Bush said the U.S. government has invested nearly eighteen billion dollars over the last seven years to research, develop and promote clean and efficient energy technologies. The American private sector, he said, has also made “significant investments.”
“This problem isn't going to be solved overnight,” said President Bush. “Yet years from now our children are going to look back at the choices we make today, at this deciding moment: It will be a moment when we choose to expand prosperity instead of accepting stagnation; it will be a moment when we turn the tide against greenhouse gas emissions instead of allowing the problem to grow; it will be a moment when we rejected the predictions of despair and set a course of a more hopeful future.”.