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Vice President's Remarks on U.S. Signing of The Kyoto Protocol

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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 12, 1998
(202) 456-7035


Our signing today of the Kyoto Protocol reaffirms America'scommitment to meeting our most profound environmental challenge -- globalclimate change.

U.S. leadership was instrumental in achieving a strong and realisticagreement in Kyoto -- one that couples ambitious environmental targetswith flexible market mechanisms to meet those goals at the lowest possiblecost. At the close of the Kyoto conference, President Clinton and I madeclear his intention to sign this historic accord. In the eleven monthssince Kyoto, the evidence of global warming has grown only stronger, and sohas our resolve. The recent budget agreement provides more than $1 billionfor our domestic climate change efforts -- a 25 percent increase. And agrowing number of leading corporations are pledging voluntary cuts in theirgreenhouse gas emissions.

With talks now under way in Buenos Aires to continue the vital workbegun in Kyoto, our signing of the Protocol underscores our determinationto achieve a truly global solution to this global challenge. We hope toachieve progress in refining the market-based tools agreed to in Kyoto, andin securing the meaningful participation of key developing countries.

Signing the Protocol, while an important step forward, imposes noobligations on the United States. The Protocol becomes binding only withthe advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. As we have said before, we willnot submit the Protocol for ratification without the meaningfulparticipation of key developing countries in efforts to address climatechange.

We are confident that in time the nations of the world will arrive ata course that maintains strong and sustainable economic growth, respectsthe needs and aspirations of all nations, and protects future generationsfrom the threat of global warming.

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