Kerry Presses Bush Administration: Will They Downplay Climate Change Impact?

During a hearing on Climate Change on Tuesday, Senator John Kerry pressed Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs on whether the Bush Administration will mute the urgency communicated by a new IPCC summary report on climate change, scheduled to be released later this week in Valencia, Spain. Dobriansky said that she is “not aware” of any effort by the administration to do so.

John Kerry asked Under Secretary Dobriansky about the Administration’s tactics today as he chaired a hearing in the Foreign Relations Committee, “International Climate Change Negotiations: Restoring U.S. Leadership.” Next month, Kerry will head to Bali with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to lead a Senate delegation to the upcoming global climate talks.

Below is a transcript of Kerry’s exchange with Dobriansky:

Senator Kerry: First of all, let me just quickly put on the record that we have heard from sources that in Valencia the Administration is sort of working behind the scenes to tone down a little bit the urgency that the IPCC folks want to give to this summary agreement. Can you tell us if there is any reality to that or are we somehow– as you know, there’s been an unfortunate record here that EPA and other reports – of the science somewhat stomped on over the course of the last few years. So are you expressing today a State Department view, or an Administration view, and are there any efforts you know of to sort of reduce the impact of what comes out of Valencia?

Under Secretary Dobriansky: I’m part of the State Department, but I’m part of this Administration. With regard to any toning down, I’m not aware of any toning down…

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