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THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary
                        (New York, New York)
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For Immediate Release                                  December 10, 1997

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I am very pleased that the United States has reached an historic agreement with other nations of the world to take unprecedented action to address global warming. This agreement is environmentally strong and economically sound. It reflects a commitment by our generation to act in the interests of future generations.

No nation is more committed to this effort than the United States. In Kyoto, our mission was to persuade other nations to find common ground so we could make realistic and achievable commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That mission was accomplished. The United States delegation, at the direction of Vice President Gore, and with the skilled leadership of Under Secretary Stuart Eizenstat, showed the way. The momentum generated by Vice President Gore's visit helped move the negotiation to a successful conclusion and I thank him.

I am particularly pleased the agreement strongly reflects the commitment of the United States to use the tools of the free market to tackle this difficult problem.

There are still hard challenges ahead, particularly in the area of involvement by developing nations. It is essential that these nations participate in a meaningful way if we are to truly tackle this global environmental challenge. But the industrialized nations have come together, taken a strong step, and that is real progress.

Finally, let me thank Prime Minister Hashimoto and the people of Japan for their spirit and dedication to the task.

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