Blair hails progress on G8 climate change bid

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The Independent Online

The whole world finally recognises the scale of the threat of climate change, Tony Blair said yesterday after the latest session of a round of negotiations between the biggest polluting countries, which he instigated last year at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in Scotland.

But even as he spoke, his Environment Secretary David Miliband was telling the world that more investment needed to take place in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking in Monterrey, Mexico, after the talks closed, Mr Miliband said progress was being made but much more needed to be done. He said: "There needs to be a substantial expansion of the global carbon market.

"Without further action, we heard that carbon dioxide emissions in 2050 will be 137 per cent higher than in 2003, driven by the increasing use of coal for electricity generation, oil-based transport fuels and rapid economic growth in countries with large coal reserves. Business as usual is not an option."

But Mr Blair was upbeat about the fact that talks were going on. The involvement of developing countries such as India and China was "very important for the future", he said, adding: "The G8 Plus Five meeting ... on climate change is a very important indicator of the desire of the world now to come together and deal with the issue of energy and the environment and how we make sure there is sustainable growth in the future. And the fact that you have got a dialogue now that involves America and India and China, as well as the European countries, is obviously very important for the future."

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