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The BBC's Red Harrison in Sydney
"Conference delegates will now try to work out how a world-wide boycott might work"
 real 28k

Monday, 16 April, 2001, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Greens urge US oil boycott
Oil industry plants along the Mississippi river in New Orleans
The Greens hope to hit oil companies where it hurts
An international conference of environmentalists has called for a worldwide boycott of United States oil companies after President George W Bush said he would not support the Kyoto climate change treaty.

Australian Senator Bob Brown, who chaired the international conference of Green party politicians and supporters, said President Bush had chosen the welfare of oil companies over that of coming generations.

He said a boycott would put pressure on the US to support the 1997 Kyoto accord, which Mr Bush has rejected.

The world's got a pretty simple choice here - it's between President Bush and our grandchildren

Senator Bob Brown,
Australian Green party
On Sunday, Australia's environment minister said that the Kyoto accord could not succeed without US support, and suggested using it as a framework to negotiate a new treaty.

"I don't think Kyoto can last without the US," Senator Robert Hill said.

President Bush indicated last month that he would not support Kyoto for fear it would hurt the US economy.

The Australian announcement drew immediate criticism from the international gathering of Green party members in Canberra, the country's capital.

"The world's got a pretty simple choice here. It's between President Bush and our grandchildren," Senator Brown said.

He said it was clear that Australian Prime Minister John Howard had "chosen President Bush".

Following US lead

But Senator Hill said Australia had always made clear it would not ratify Kyoto before the US.

He said the accord should become the framework for a future climate change treaty "because the problem is not going to go away".

George W Bush
Bush: Told to reverse his decision to reject Kyoto
To have force of law, the accord must be ratified by 55 countries that produce 55% of global greenhouse emissions, which many scientists believe contribute to climate change.

The US produces 25% of the world's greenhouse emissions.

President Bush said he opposed the treaty for economic reasons and because it did not include developing countries.

In fact, the Kyoto accord commits developing countries to legally binding emissions targets. Several developing countries have ratified the accord, while no industrialised nations have done so.

Mr Brown told the BBC that President Bush's stance on the Kyoto agreement was influenced by the oil companies.

Phillips 66 logo
US oil company Phillips could be a target
He said the conference aimed to challenge the growing international influence of major corporations.

International environmental group Greenpeace is said to be leading the initiative.

It has given US oil companies 10 days to detach themselves from the Bush decision, according to European Greens Secretary-General, Arnold Cassola.

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See also:

16 Apr 01 | UK Politics
Prescott pressures US on climate treaty
15 Apr 01 | Asia-Pacific
Australia gives up on Kyoto
13 Apr 01 | UK Politics
Blair urged to tackle Bush over Kyoto
09 Apr 01 | Music
Sting slates Bush over Kyoto
25 Nov 00 | Sci/Tech
Analysis: What next?
28 Mar 01 | Sci/Tech
US blow to Kyoto hopes
30 Mar 01 | Americas
Kyoto: Why did the US pull out?
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