Blair outlines strategy to cut global warming

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Tony Blair committed the Government yesterday to taking measures to tackle global warming one of the priorities for Britain's presidency of the G8 from January.

Tony Blair committed the Government yesterday to taking measures to tackle global warming one of the priorities for Britain's presidency of the G8 from January.

But the Prime Minister stopped short of endorsing the call by Professor James Lovelock for Britain to start a massive expansion of the nuclear industry to avert catastrophic climate change.

Mr Blair was pressed about the remarks by Professor Lovelock reported in The Independent on Monday.

Mr Blair said: "The long-term threat to the stability of the planet comes from the environment and from climate change - that's why we have made it a priority for us, along with Africa, at the G8 summit next year."

Mr Blair said Europe had played "quite a part" in persuading Russia to agree to sign up to the Kyoto protocols, which could leave the US isolated among the major industrialised countries in the G8. He added that he had committed Britain to tackling climate change in a recording he has made for a conference on renewable energy in Germany next Tuesday.

"We are absolutely committed to cutting carbon dioxide emissions and to ratification of Kyoto," he said.

Zac Goldsmith, the editor of the Ecologist magazine, condemned Professor Lovelock's proposal to increase reliance on nuclear energy, arguing yesterday that it could lead to vast areas being contaminated with radiation if a terrorist attack used planes as bombs.

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