Bush confirms plans for U.S.-hosted climate summit

Late last week, President Bush solidified plans for an international climate summit in September. The meeting, to be hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will convene 12 to 15 industrial and developing countries, including India and China, to discuss long-term climate goals. But critics are jumping all over the idea, first floated in June; they say Bush’s refusal to consider mandatory emissions cuts has tanked any hope of progress. “If this is just to carry on with a voluntary approach,” said Elliot Diringer of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, “then it could be worse than useless.” Others point out the curious timing of the meeting, which will occur just three days after a similar U.N.-sponsored climate conference of 100 nations in New York. U.N. Climate Change Secretariat head Yvo de Boer was gracious about the parallel effort: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” he said, earning our eternal idiomatic affection. “It will be interesting to see what this delivers.”