gest European ally. The EU is committed to mandatory cuts and UN-sponsored talks to bring in the rest of the world; Japan and Canada also favour binding, long-term goals.
US negotiators fought to remove any references to binding targets from the summit's 22-page draft statement on global warming. Bush argued that each nation should set its own goals for cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases - mostly carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels - that are blamed for global warming.
"There's this fixation on a one-size-fits-all approach," said James Connaughton, the top White House adviser on climate change.
But the mood in the US is shifting. The Democratic Party, resurgent since winning control of Congress from Bush's Republicans in 2006 elections, says the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter should lead the fight against climate change.
With his G8 proposal, Bush is just "shifting from denial to delay," Democratic lawmaker Edward Markey, head of a new House of Representatives panel on global warming, said Saturday.
Bush and Merkel plan to meet for lunch Wednesday before the main summit. Bush also meets separately with departing British Prime Minister Tony Blair, his staunchest European ally, and new centre-right French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In a rebuff to Putin, Bush has bracketed his G8 trip with visits to Prague and Poland in what were once Soviet satellite lands. The US is negotiating to base a radar station in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland, prompting a stream of angry rhetoric from Moscow and jitters among Western European governments.
The US says the systems would be used only to defend against missile threats from rogue nations such as Iran and poses no threat to Russia. Moscow has rejected the assurances and tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile in reply.
Bush visits Rome next Saturday for his firsPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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