- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2007

3:27 p.m.

POTSDAM, Germany — Prospects for a deal on climate change between the United States and Europe at the Group of Eight summit next week appeared all but dead today as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice clashed with her colleagues over ways to battle global warming.

Miss Rice urged the Europeans to take another look at nuclear energy — a highly controversial subject on the Continent — if they want to limit greenhouse gas emissions. She also suggested they use new technologies such as biofuels.

“The United States spends $5.8 billion a year on [dealing with climate change], and the president has asked for $7.4 billion in the 2008 budget,” the secretary said in response to accusations that the worlds biggest polluter is not doing enough.

Germany, which chairs the G-8 summit this year and will host it in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm, wrote a draft declaration committing the groups members to cutting emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and limiting the worldwide temperature rise this century to 3.6 degrees.

The Bush administration has refused to sign on to the text, although negotiations are continuing.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a press conference after he met with his counterparts yesterday that a multilateral agreement is the only way to address climate change.

However, Miss Rice insisted that no such deal would work unless China and India, the worlds fastest-developing countries and the biggest polluters after the United States, are part of it. Both countries have rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, from which President Bush withdrew as soon as he took office in 2001.

Miss Rice also exchanged heated words with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over U.S. plans to build a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe. The administration says it would prevent an attack from Iran, North Korea and other rogue states and not from Russia.

Mr. Lavrov accused Washington of starting a new “arms race” and dismissed Miss Rices characterization of Moscows objections to the plan, which she said yesterday were “ludicrous.”

She quoted Russian President Vladimir Putins remarks that same day after an intercontinental missile test that Moscows arsenal can penetrate any missile defense.

“We quite agree,” Miss Rice said.

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