Blair falls into line with Bush view on global warming
Sunday 25 September 2005
His admission, which has outraged environmentalists on both sides of the Atlantic, flies in the face of his promises made in the past two years and undermines the agreement he masterminded at this summer's Gleneagles Summit. And it endangers talks that opened in Ottawa this weekend on a new treaty to combat climate change.
The U-turn will inevitably bring accusations that he has, once again, sold out to Mr Bush, just at the time that the US President is coming under unprecedented pressure to change his policy in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Last week the UK Government's chief scientific advisor, Sir David King, said that global warming might have increased their severity.
Over the past two years Mr Blair has consistently claimed global leadership in tackling what he described as "long term, the single most important issue we face as a global community" and has stressed that it "can only properly be addressed through international agreements". President Bush repeatedly expressed anger at his position.
Sharing a platform with the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, in New York this month, Mr Blair confessed: "Probably I'm changing my thinking about this", adding that he hoped the world's nations would "not negotiate international treaties".
This contradicts his assertion in a speech a year ago - which drew a private rebuke from the Bush administration - that "a problem that is global in cause and scope can only be fully addressed through international agreement".
It also denies what his ministers claimed to be his main achievement on global warming at Gleneagles. He had succeeded in getting all the leaders except Mr Bush to sign up to negotiating a successor to the Kyoto treaty, and in arranging a meeting between the G8 and leading developing countries to discuss it.
But instead of endorsing agreed limits on the pollution that causes climate change, Mr Blair told this month's meeting at the Clinton Global Initiative that he was putting his faith in "developing science and technology" - precisely Mr Bush's position.
He justified his change of heart by saying that countries would not negotiate environmental treaties that cut their growth or consumption - another of the President's main contentions. But in another speech last April he said it was "quite false" to suppose that environmental protection would inhibit growth.
Last night, Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth, called the Prime Minister's volte-face "unbelievable": "Having failed to practise what he preaches, he is now changing his preaching to match his practice."
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
Green village to be bulldozed and mined for lignite in Germany's quest for non-nuclear fuel
35,000 walruses huddle for safety in Alaska as sea ice melts
Monarch butterfly: Single gene holds key to understanding 3,000 mile migration feat
Conjoined gray whale calves discovered in Mexican lagoon could be world's first ever documented find, experts say
35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...