Draft of U.S. government report says greenhouse-gas emissions on the rise

A leaked draft of a U.S. government report shows that officials expect greenhouse-gas emissions to keep climbing under President Bush’s watch. The U.S. Climate Action Report — which was due to the U.N. over a year ago and comes with its own ironicalicious acronym — says emissions will be 11 percent higher in 2012 than they were in 2002. By 2020, it says, they’ll be 19 percent higher than 2000 levels. Not such a good prospect for a nation that spews a quarter of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions. But the Bush camp spun sugar from the news, reminding critics that their goal is to ensure that emissions rates grow at a slower rate than the economy. “The Climate Action Report will show that the president’s portfolio of actions addressing climate change and his unparalleled financial commitments are working,” said White House spokesperson Kristen Hellmer. Said David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council: “If you set the hurdle one inch above the ground you can’t fail to clear it.”