Tackle climate change with technology, not emissions cuts, says Bush

July 5, 2005

Brussels, 04 Jul 2005

US President George W Bush would prefer to invest in new technologies to combat climate change rather than cut carbon emissions. The President explained his views in an interview with UK broadcaster ITV on 3 July.

Referring to the Kyoto protocol, which makes a reduction of carbon emissions legally binding and was not signed by the US, Mr Bush said: 'If this looks like Kyoto, the answer is 'no'. The Kyoto treaty would have wrecked our economy, if I can be blunt.'

Mr Bush acknowledges however that global warming is now an issue that 'we've got to deal with', and favours doing this through new technologies. He told ITV that the US is investing in developing new, clean energy techniques such as sequestration of carbon dioxide in underground wells, hydrogen-powered cars and zero emission power stations. 'I think you can grow your economy and at the same time do a better job of harnessing greenhouse gases,' he said.

Indeed, a US company announced on 28 June that it had successfully completed test flights of a potentially environment-friendly aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen.

Using liquid hydrogen stored on board and oxygen extracted from the air, electricity is created and used to power propellers. A full tank of hydrogen could keep the unmanned plane - Global Observer - in the air for 24 hours, according to its owners, AeroVironment.

'In addition to validating the functionality of the airplane and the propulsion system, these flight tests demonstrated safe and efficient hydrogen powered flight and mobile liquid hydrogen fuelling operations, the last technology challenge for the Global Observer system. With this completed milestone and adequate funding, AV is confident that a Global Observer system can be deployed for US government applications within two years,' reads a statement from AeroVironment.

'Our dedicated, experienced team has achieved the last major milestone in our HALE [high altitude long endurance] UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] technology development,' said Tim Conver, AeroVironment's president and chief executive. 'We are now ready to quickly satisfy an urgent national security need for an affordable, persistent HALE system for communications relay and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.'

For further information on Global Observer, please visit:
http://www.aerovironment.com/

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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