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President George W. Bush further distanced his administration from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change last week by rejecting the idea of reducing US greenhouse-gas emissions to below current levels.

The president’s long-awaited alternative to the Kyoto plan effectively calls for no new action on the part of the United States.

The Kyoto signatories pledged to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to below 1990 levels by 2012. Bush instead envisions reducing the “emissions intensity” — the ration of emissions to a nation’s economic output — by 18 per cent over the same period.

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Reference: Nature 415, 821 (2002)