By ROBERT BARR
Associated Press Writer
LONDON - The U.S. National Academy of Sciences joined similar groups from other nations today in a call for prompt action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning that delays will be costly.
The statement was released as British Prime Minister Tony Blair was meeting with President Bush in Washington.
Blair has made action on climate change a priority for the July G-8 summit. Bush opposes the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, and his administration questions scientists' views that man-made pollutants are causing temperatures to rise.
Lord May, president of Britain's Royal Society, said in releasing the statement that Bush's policy on climate change was ''misguided'' and ignored scientific evidence.
The statement called on G-8 countries to ''identify cost-effective steps that can be taken now to contribute to substantial and long-term reductions in net global greenhouse gas emissions.''
It urged the G-8 nations to ''recognize that delayed action will increase the risk of adverse environmental effects and will likely incur a greater cost.''
Besides the U.S. and British academies, the statement was published by those in France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, along with ones in Brazil, China and India.
''It is clear that world leaders, including the G-8, can no longer use uncertainty about aspects of climate change as an excuse for not taking urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions,'' Lord May said.
He noted the statement was endorsed by scientists in Brazil, China and India - nations ''who are among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world.''
''The Bush administration has consistently refused to accept the advice of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The NAS concluded in 1992 that, 'Despite the great uncertainties, greenhouse warming is a potential threat sufficient to justify action now,' by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases,'' May said.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit society of scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research.
''Getting the U.S. on board is critical because of the sheer amount of greenhouse gas emissions they are responsible for,'' May said.
He said the Royal Society had calculated that the 13 percent rise in greenhouse gas emissions from the United States between 1990 and 2002 was bigger than the overall cut achieved if all the other parties to the Kyoto Protocol reach their targets.
The statement signed by the academies said evidence of global warming included ''direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems.''
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which went into effect without U.S. support, targets carbon dioxide and five other gases that can trap heat in the atmosphere and are believed to be behind rising global temperatures that many scientists say are disrupting weather patterns.
The Bush administration opposes the treaty because officials believe it would raise energy prices and cost 5 million U.S. jobs.
The statement urged G-8 leaders and others to:
Acknowledge the threat of climate change is ''clear and increasing.''
Launch an international study to help set emission targets to avoid unacceptable impacts.
Identify cost-effective steps to take now to contribute to ''substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.''
Work with developing nations to build their scientific and technological capacity.
Take a lead in developing and deploying clean energy technologies.
Mobilize the science and technology community to enhance research and development.
On The Net:
National Academy of Sciences: http://www.nationalacademies.org