U.S. continues to stonewall climate progress ahead of G8 summit

In the diplomatic scramble leading up to next week’s G8 summit, there are two sides: the Bush administration and the rest of the world. The burning issue, of course, is climate change. Following weeks of grumbling from both sides, leaked documents show that U.S. red pens have slashed a draft from G8 chair Germany, citing “fundamental opposition” to proposals that include cutting global greenhouse-gas emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and increasing energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020. German and U.S. envoys are meeting this week to work on an agreement, and Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to meet with President Bush just ahead of the summit to try to knock some sense into him. U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) met with Merkel today as part of a European tour, echoing the notion that “[climate] solutions must be multilateral.” Which won’t help. But Germany’s determination is summed up by its foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier: “I trust that we will fight to the last minute.”