While over 150 countries entered into the Kyoto treaty, it was rejected by the Bush administration due to the potential economic effects of mandatory emission reductions. As a result, Climate VISION was initiated by the administration with the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Critics argue that this approach lacks teeth in that "(1) it arguably does not require any change on the part of industries beyond what would likely take place regardless of the initiative; (2) any change is voluntary; and (3) if they do institute a change, they are praised for making the change. All in all, the Climate VISION initiative is safe and inexpensive for the “regulated” industries, especially when compared to a real limit on total emissions (rather than a reduction in the ratio of emissions) such as the one required under the Kyoto Protocol.” Is President Bush's Vision Impaired?
Climate Vision MOU Signature Page. Source: climatevision.gov
“[T]he overall goal of the Bush Administration is to reduce the intensity of annual greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) by 18 percent by 2012, through a range of voluntary actions.” US Business Actions to Address Climate Change
Critics of Climate VISION argue that environmental health is treated as a far lower a priority than the financial security of the industries included in the initiative's agreements. “While one might think that environmental enthusiasts would applaud this proposal, the only enthusiasts of this plan are those in the targeted industries. This is because no change is mandatory, and it will most likely be of no benefit to the environment.” (Is President Bush's Vision Impaired?) Further, the ratio-based measurement allows for no changes in annual emission levels while still achieving the set goals. “Nature does not respond to symbolic gestures,” said Lash. “As a response to the greatest environmental threat of the 21st century, this approach is timid, late, and unimaginative.” (Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute in “WRI Cites Flaws in New White House Climate Initiative” 12 February 2003, accessed 6 July 2010.)
“Launched in February 2003 by the Department of Energy, Climate VISION is a presidential public-private partnership initiative which seeks to promote President Bush’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas intensity by 18% over the next ten years.” (King et al 2004, 21)