No Major Climate Initiatives From State of the Union

"The president's proposal for a worldwide clean technology fund is a major landmark in addressing global warming," said Phil Clapp of the Pew Environmental Group. "Still, $2 billion is a very small amount of money given the scale of the problem. China alone is investing over $100 billion a year through its state-owned enterprises in new energy projects and resources, mostly in oil and coal-fired electricity. The president's proposed fund must be accompanied by a strong new climate treaty to direct global business investment into clean energy technologies."

Bush's speech was praised by 115 evangelical leaders working on climate issues.

"Helping poor countries develop cleanly is a genuinely compassionate conservative response to the problem of climate change, and we offer our moral support and prayers for the President's leadership," said a statement from the Rev. Jim Ball, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

Starting Wednesday, some of the biggest greenhouse gas-polluting countries will meet in Honolulu for a two-day meeting hosted by the United States, aimed at advancing negotiations for a new international climate agreement once the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

President Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty shortly after taking office in 2001 in favor of voluntary steps and "aspirational goals" to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week, a group of almost 20 climate scientists, policy experts, mayors and others called on the president and the candidates to take more aggressive action to confront global warming.

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