PROTECTING THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
"I want to tell you that I am grateful for many things as President.
I'm grateful for the opportunity that the Vice President and I have had to
finally put to rest the bogus idea that you cannot grow the economy and protect
the environment at the same time."
State of the Union Address
The Clinton-Gore Administration is putting global environmental issues where
they belong: in the mainstream of American foreign policy. The state of the
global environment profoundly affects our national interests. A clean environment
and a growing economy go hand in hand. Challenges such as climate change, toxic
pollution, natural resources conservation and ocean dumping transcend borders
and threaten the health, quality of life and jobs of American citizens. Economic
development and environmental protection go hand in hand.
A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
- Negotiated the historic Kyoto Protocol, an international framework
that establishes a strong, realistic and legally binding commitments to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions in an environmentally strong and economically sound
way. Led the scientific and technical process necessary for long-term inclusion
of forest and agricultural sinks and innovative mechanisms like emissions
trading in the international response to climate change.
- Ensured that U.S. efforts to expand trade reflect a strong commitment to
promoting environmental protection worldwide. Signed an Executive Order requiring
careful assessment and written review of the potential environmental impacts
of major trade agreements so environmental considerations can guide the development
of U.S. positions in trade negotiations. Concluded the Jordan Free Trade Agreement,
the first such text to include environmental obligations in the body of the
- Fostered strong environmental standards at U.S. export agencies, the World
Bank and other international financial institutions, including targets for
clean energy lending. Led the fight for the recent G-8 commitment at the Okinawa
Summit to common environmental guidelines for export credit agencies by 2001.
- Raised annual USAID spending on tropical forest and biodiversity conservation
to $100 million for FY 2001. At the U.N. Millennium Summit in 2000, announced
contribution of the first ever comprehensive set of satellite images of the
world's threatened forests to a ground-breaking international scientific assessment
of global ecosystems.
- Directed the development of key recommendations for strengthening Federal
oceans policy for the 21st century and appointed a high level National Security
Council/Council on Environmental Quality task force to oversee the implementation
of those recommendations. Convened a National Oceans Conference in June 1998
that brought together government experts, business executives, scientists,
environmentalists, elected officials and the public to examine opportunities
and challenges in restoring and protecting our ocean resources.
- Called for and then led the successful global negotiations for a new treaty
to phase out 12 of the most dangerous, persistent organic pollutants such
as PCBs and DDT that threaten health and safety around the world.
- Successfully phased out CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) by 1996 and other major
ozone-depleting substances by 1994. Approved the introduction of more than
300 alternatives to ozone-depleting substances. Invested more than $300 million
a year in research on atmospheric chemistry and stratospheric ozone depletion.
Strengthened international efforts to protect the ozone layer through ongoing
negotiation of amendments to the Montreal Protocol.
- Led the negotiation and completion of a ground-breaking treaty among Latin
American countries to protect endangered sea turtles. Led international efforts
to protect endangered whale species and curb illicit trade in products derived
from endangered species, such as rhinos and tigers.
- Led the world in calling for a global ban on ocean dumping of low-level
radioactive waste at the London Convention in 1993. The United States was
the first nuclear power to advocate the ban, and successfully convinced the
rest of the world to follow our lead.
- Helped forge a historic consensus at the 1994 Cairo Conference for a global
program to empower women and slow population growth.
- Worked hard to secure a legally binding August, 1995 international treaty
to protect migratory fish stocks. Leading an international effort to create
negotiations in the WTO leading to the elimination of environmentally-damaging
subsidies that promote over capacity in fishing fleets.
TIMELINE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
|Commitment by the G-8 in Okinawa to common environmental guidelines for
export credit agencies. Agreements with India and China to cooperate on clean
energy and climate change. At U.N. Security Council, President Clinton announces
U.S. contribution of major new satellite data to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
Final agreement on a global treaty on hazardous chemicals called persistent
|Issuance of Executive Order 13141 mandating environmental review of major
trade agreements. President Clinton's speech on the global environment in Christchurch,
|President Clinton speaks at and participates in environmental events during
foreign travel to China and Botswana.
|Personal involvement by President Clinton and Vice President Gore in
international negotiations on climate change that led to the Kyoto Protocol;
President Clinton speaks to United Nations special session on environment/sustainable
|Vice President Gore attends sustainable development conference in Santa
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only