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Bush greenhouse summit plan seems delay tactic

U.S. President George W. Bush's call for a summit to find ways to reduce greenhouse gases is "purely and simply smoke and mirrors".

At a signing for his new book "The Assault on Reason", Gore said Bush's suggestion Thursday that the U.S. and other nations need to develop a long-term strategy for cutting the gases that trap heat on the Earth is a delay tactic.

"Just yesterday the president offered a new approach that is purely and simply smoke and mirrors and has the transparent purpose of delaying the efforts that could start now," Gore said.

"The other nations are ready to go ... the world is looking to the United States of America for the moral leadership we should be providing right now - not at some point a decade from now," Gore said.

On Thursday, the White House said the president's proposal addresses "life after" the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The president outlined his proposal just days before he attends a summit in Germany of leading industrialized nations. Global warming is a major topic on the agenda, and Bush will feel pressure.

Bush is proposing that the United States and about a dozen other nations hold a series of meetings to set long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gases by the end of next year. The final list of nations has not yet been decided, but other participants would likely include India, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea and the European Union.

While the United States signed a 1992 global agreement on climate talks, it refused to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol limiting emissions. Bush argued that Kyoto would harm the U.S. economy, unfairly excluded fast-growing nations like India and China and said nothing about cutting emissions after the treaty expires in 2012.