What about the critics who say the Bush Administration—at best—lacks an environmental policy? Or—at worst—is engaged in an assault on the environment? It's clear that we have failed in the court of public opinion to tell our story. (John F. Turner, US Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, March 2, 2004)

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For many environmentalists in Europe and elsewhere, the United States has emerged as the new “rogue state” in global green politics. Ever since the United States took a backseat at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, US foreign policy has appeared to be lukewarm about, and often hostile to, multilateral environmental policymaking. From the rejection of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to the withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the United States has shown itself to be concerned more with national economic...

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