Rice Kicks Off Climate Summit

Secretary denies US is trying to undermine UN work
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Sep 27, 2007 3:45 PM CDT
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Condoleezza Rice insisted the US is serious about fighting global warming today, as top polluting nations began a two-day conference in Washington. "Climate change is a global problem and we are contributing to it," the Secretary of State said. President Bush convened the conference to "support and accelerate" the UN's agenda on climate change, but critics aren't so sure.

The Kyoto Protocol mandating emissions reductions will run out in 2012, and countries are working towards a new agreement. Some activists see the US as pushing for voluntary, rather than mandatory, cuts in future treaties, Reuters reports. At stake also is whether all nations should be subject to the same rules, regardless of their level of economic development.