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Excerpts From Vice President Gore

December 8, 1997

KYOTO, Japan (AP) _ Excerpts from Vice President Gore’s address to the conference on the Climate Change Treaty:

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The most vulnerable part of the Earth’s environment is the very thin layer of air clinging near to the surface of the planet, that we are now so carelessly filling with gaseous wastes that we are actually altering the relationship between the Earth and the Sun _ by trapping more solar radiation under this growing blanket of pollution that envelops the entire world.

The extra heat which cannot escape is beginning to change the global patterns of climate to which we are accustomed, and to which we have adapted over the last 10,000 years. ...

Our fundamental challenge now is to find out whether and how we can change the behaviors that are causing the problem. ...

Our first step should be to set realistic and achievable, binding emissions limits, which will create new markets for new technologies and new ideas that will, in turn, expand the boundaries of the possible and create new hope. Other steps will then follow. And then, ultimately, we will achieve a safe overall concentration level for greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. ...

For our part, the United States remains firmly committed to a strong, binding target that will reduce our own emissions by nearly 30 percent from what they would otherwise be. ...

After talking with our negotiators this morning and after speaking on the telephone from here a short time ago with President Clinton, I am instructing our delegation right now to show increased negotiating flexibility if a comprehensive plan can be put in place, one with realistic targets and timetables, market mechanisms, and the meaningful participation of key developing countries.

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