German reaction to Bush speech "hot-blooded," White House says

Other News Materials 17 April 2008 23:52 (UTC +04:00)

The White House on Thursday dismissed as "hot- blooded" Germany's criticism of President George W Bush's vision for combating global warming. ( dpa )

"You're always going to see lots of hot-blooded reaction to anything said on climate, and so you should just be prepared for that," Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said when asked of the criticism.

Bush announced Wednesday that he was setting a national goal to halt the growth of US greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025 to combat global warming, an objective that fell short of recommendations made by a UN panel.

That timeline is much later than the one called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in a series of reports last year showed how the growth of global emissions must end by 2015 and reductions must begin taking place by 2025.

Bush's proposal was quickly criticized by Democrats and environmental groups, but some of the sharpest words came from German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who called the plan "Neanderthal."

Bush's role in combating global warming was an example of "losership instead of leadership," he said.

"The president has made a disappointing speech that does not match up to the global challenge," Gabriel said.

Fratto said climate change is such a contentious issue that it was so surprise that Bush faced criticism over his proposal.

"Slings and arrows would have been thrown (Wednesday), no matter what we said, from different quarters, and that's the nature of the debate on climate change," Fratto said. "And you're never going to make everyone happy on it."