THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 12, 1998
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Acting U.N. Ambassador Peter Burleigh is today signing the Kyoto
Protocol on behalf of the United States.
The Protocol, negotiated last December in Kyoto, Japan, is an historic
step forward in international efforts to address global climate change.
Representatives of more than 160 nations are gathered this week in Buenos
Aires to continue the important work begun in Kyoto. Our signing reaffirms
America's commitment to work with the international community to turn the
broad concepts of the Kyoto Protocol into working realities. It also
ensures our ability to continue playing a strong role in completing work on
the key issues that remain unresolved.
Signing does not legally commit the United States to implement the
Protocol. The Protocol would become binding only with the advice and
consent of the U.S. Senate. President Clinton has made clear that the
United States regards the Kyoto Protocol as a work in progress, and that it
will not be submitted for ratification without the meaningful participation
of key developing countries in efforts to address climate change.
We are encouraged by President Menem's announcement yesterday, in
Buenos Aires, that Argentina will take on a binding emissions target under
the same timetable as developed countries. Argentina is the first
developing country to pledge such action, and we applaud President Menem's
leadership and courage.
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