[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[October 18, 1997]
[Pages 1399-1400]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at Nahuel Huapi National Park in San Carlos de Bariloche, 
October 18, 1997

    President Menem, distinguished members of the Argentine Government, 
Governor Verani, Mayor Miguel, Dr. Varotta, Director Suarez, and Colonel 
Cabana, thank you very much.
    Mr. President, let me begin by thanking you for your wonderful 
hospitality to Hillary, to me, to all of our team from the Cabinet and 
the American administration. We're very grateful to you. We are also 
grateful for our broad and deep partnership with Argentina. From 
peacekeeping missions around the globe to our cooperation in the far 
reaches of outer space, from expanding trade to extending its benefits 
to all our people, from the peaceful use of nuclear power to the fight 
against terrorism, over the last 2 days we have worked hard to deepen 
our cooperation to benefit all of our people.
    For the children in this audience, our partnership to protect the 
environment of our nations and the entire globe is perhaps the most 
important part of what we must do together.
    Eighty-four years ago this month, two visionaries of the Americas 
arrived together in this place where nature and civilization meet. One 
was Theodore Roosevelt. No American President had spent more time 
thinking about the New World as a community of democracies; no American 
President had done more to preserve and protect our natural environment. 
His traveling companion was Perito Moreno, the man who founded this 
magnificent domain, Nahuel Huapi National Park, a remarkable gift to 
future generations.
    Mr. President, it is up to us now to act with the foresight and in 
the spirit of Roosevelt and Moreno in dealing with today's great 
environmental challenges: how to bring the blessings of global growth to 
all nations and still protect not just our national environments but the 
planet itself.
    One of our severest challenges clearly is climate change. The 
evidence is compelling that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are 
leading to the warming of our planet and that global warming could lead 
to profound and destructive changes in the way we lead our lives. Among 
the consequences will be the more rapid spread of diseases, the rising 
of the oceans, flooding lowlands on various continents and islands in 
the oceans, and more frequent and severe weather events in all 
continents, including more severe droughts and floods.
    Five years ago, the nations of the world began to address this 
challenge at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This December, when 
more than 150 nations gather in Kyoto, Japan, we can make, and we must 
make, more progress toward a solution. Our goal must be to set realistic 
and binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions and then to create a 
blueprint to guide us for the future.
    In meeting the challenge of climate change, clearly the United 
States and the rest of the developed world must lead. For today, 
industrialized nations produce most of the greenhouse gases that go into 
our atmosphere. But emissions from the developing world are expected to 
grow dramatically. Forty years from now, they will exceed those of 
developed countries. Since the issue is how to stabilize and reduce 
greenhouse gases in the entire atmosphere, this is clearly a global 
problem in which we must all do our share.

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    I applaud the leadership of President Menem in Argentina in 
affirming today that developing as well as developed nations should have 
emissions targets. And we have agreed to pursue joint implementation, an 
important tool that will allow the United States and Argentine 
businesses to adopt the most cost-effective emissions reductions. We 
have seen clearly in the United States over and over again that we solve 
our environmental problems more quickly when we work together with 
technology and markets through the private sector.
    I want to make it clear that the strategy we embrace today does not 
ask developing nations to sacrifice the legitimate aspirations of their 
people for economic growth. Instead, it offers an important opening to 
chart a new energy course that is consistent with growth but makes sure 
that today's progress does not come at tomorrow's expense.
    This endeavor will require sustained, committed partnership. The 
United States is committed to providing a billion dollars to help 
developing nations find alternative energy sources and use them more 
efficiently. Next year at the Summit of the Americas in Santiago, we 
hope to make sustainable development a cornerstone of a new era in 
inter-American cooperation.
    As you have heard from the previous speakers, technology, science, 
and education are important allies in preserving the environment. Here 
in Bariloche, Argentina is building satellites that NASA will launch. 
And then from high above the Earth's atmosphere, they will help us to 
keep an eye on our planet's changing contours, including surveying the 
forest in Chaco and Mesopotamia, predicting agricultural patterns in La 
Pampa, monitoring the deserts in Patagonia, even tracking endangered 
whales in the south Atlantic.
    And the GLOBE program is using the Internet to teach students here 
and in over 50 other countries that a solid grasp of science and ecology 
is indeed the first step toward a cleaner world. Today I am pleased to 
announce that working with Argentina, we're establishing a new GLOBE 
program at a school in a very special place, Antarctica, a treasure held 
in trust for every person on Earth. I'm also pleased that the United 
States National Park Service and the Argentine National Parks 
Administration has signed an agreement for a 5-year program of 
    If you look at the national park around us here and its power to 
renew the soul, it certainly gives evidence to the truth of what the 
Argentine writer Victoria Ocampo wrote, when she said, ``We possess only 
what we really love.'' Well, this land belongs to everyone. It is 
protected by the Government, but we must all love it.
    Yesterday, Mr. President, Hillary and I had a chance to walk through 
the magical Arrayanes Forest. It was an experience we will never forget. 
And it gave us a renewed dedication to work with you to preserve our 
planet for these children and those whom they represent, the world over.
    At the dawn of a new century, let us resolve not only to give our 
children remarkable new economic and educational opportunities but to 
preserve our hemisphere and our Earth and to give new meaning to the 
words Nuevo Mundo.
    Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 11:05 a.m. at the Llao Llao Hotel. In his 
remarks, he referred to President Carlos Menem of Argentina; Gov. Pablo 
Verani, Rio Negro Province; Mayor Cesar Miguel of San Carlos de 
Bariloche; Conrado Franco Varotta, Executive Director, Argentine 
National Commission for Space; Carlos Suarez, executive director, 
Institute of Energy Economics, Bariloche Foundation; and Col. Robert D. 
Cabana, USMC, NASA astronaut.