USA: Oil Lobby Urges Bush to Keep Climate Change Off the Table at Earth Summit

Conservative lobbyists in the US funded by Esso have urged President Bush to derail the Earth summit in Johannesburg because it is anti-freedom, anti-people, anti-globalization and anti-Western.

The lobbyists, funded by the oil company that was also a big donor to the Presidents election campaign, urged Mr Bush to make sure that global warming was kept off the agenda at the summit, which starts later this month.

In a letter leaked to Friends of Earth in the US, the lobbyists tell Mr Bush: We applaud your decision not to attend in person . . . the summit will provide a global media stage for many of the most irresponsible and destructive elements in critical economic and environmental issues. Your presence would only help publicize various anti-freedom, anti-people, anti-globalization and anti-Western agendas, it said.

Among others, the letter was signed by representatives of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the American Enterprise Institute, and the National Center for Policy Analysis, all of which received funding from ExxonMobil, Essos parent company. The letter, dated August 2, adds: The least important global environmental issue is potential global warming and we hope that your negotiators can keep it off the table and out of the spotlight.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development will be attended by 100 world leaders. However, the US Government has already made clear that it will not sign any internationally binding agreements.

Copyright 2002 Times Newspapers Ltd

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