Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 13, 2001

Action on Climate Change Review Initiatives
July 13, 2001

On June 11, 2001, President Bush announced initiatives to advance the science of climate change, to spur technological innovation, and to promote cooperation in the Western Hemisphere and beyond. Today, the President is announcing the first set of actions that the Cabinet has taken to date to advance these initiatives.

Advancing the Science through the U.S. Climate Change Research Initiative

The President directed the Secretary of Commerce to work with other agencies to set priorities for additional investments in climate change research and to fully fund priority research areas that are underfunded or need to be accelerated. The Cabinet-level climate change working group also requested a report from the National Academy of Sciences, which identified significant uncertainties in critical areas. The Secretary of Commerce has begun his review and is announcing today that NASA is undertaking research efforts to reduce fundamental uncertainties highlighted by the National Academy of Sciences report. Such research addresses critical questions for policymakers -- e.g., the effect of natural climate fluctuations, the degree and impact of future climate change, and how human activities affect the climate system.

NASA's investments will exceed $120 million over the next three years in the following areas:

The President has announced the intention to pursue a joint venture with Japan, the European Union and others to develop state-of-the-art climate modeling to help us better predict the causes and consequences of climate change. In the President's recent summit with the Japanese Prime Minister at Camp David, the United States and Japan agreed to engage in high level consultations on climate change to explore areas of common ground and for common action. Today, the United States will host the first of a series of meetings with the Japanese Environment Minister at which they will focus on opportunities for cooperation on climate change.

Advancing Technology through the U.S. Climate Change Technology Initiative

President Bush directed the Secretaries of Energy and Commerce and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to improve climate change technology research and development, enhance basic research, strengthen applied research through public-private partnerships, develop improved technologies for measuring and monitoring gross and net greenhouse gas emissions, and support demonstration projects for cutting-edge technologies. The President specifically cited the promise of new carbon capture, storage and sequestration technologies.

The Secretary of Energy has committed $25 million to a number of projects to develop enhanced carbon sequestration technologies. The Department of Energy contribution will leverage approximately $50 million in contributions from the private sector and foreign governments. Two contracts signed on July 11, 2001 include partnering with the world's largest private international conservation group and an international team of nine leading energy companies to develop cutting-edge technologies to capture, store and sequester carbon dioxide. The President and the Secretary of Energy are announcing:

Promoting Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere

President Bush directed the Secretary of State in cooperation with other agencies to consult with nations in the Western Hemisphere and throughout the world and identify areas for enhanced cooperation. The United States committed to work with others to promote sustainable forest conservation and land use, including through the Tropical Forest Conservation Act.

The Tropical Forest Conservation Act, bipartisan legislation passed in 1998, permits the United States to enter into debt swaps with other countries to protect globally and regionally important tropical forests. These forests sequester carbon dioxide and help mitigate climate change. The Administration strongly supports the Tropical Forest Conservation Act and is working to facilitate transactions with eligible countries.

The President also directed the Secretary of State, working in cooperation with other agencies, to strengthen and expand scientific research within the Western Hemisphere. The President, the Secretary of the State, Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency are announcing the: