Blair pressed to isolate US over climate change

A A A

The French and Germans would prefer a 7-1 split over the final communiqué on the issue, which is being negotiated this weekend by officials in London, rather than bow to pressure by the US for it to be watered down.

A leaked draft of the communiqué yesterday showed that the Americans are still resisting a tough wording on the scientific evidence that human activity is causing climate change. British negotiators are seeking a compromise to keep the US on board, but France and Germany are insisting on an explicit reference to the scientific evidence, with wording on the urgency of the threat from global warming.

The US is seeking to remove a paragraph stating "climate change is a serious and long-term challenge that has the potential to affect every part of the globe". A reference in an earlier draft to a joint declaration in early June by top scientists from all G8 nations that human activities were a significant contributor to global warming has already been removed.

Another paragraph refers to a predicted 60 per cent growth in global energy demands over the next 25 years, but a section stating "we know that we need to slow, stop and then reverse the growth in greenhouse gases" is also under question.

"If anything this draft is weaker than the one that was on the table before," Jennifer Morgan, climate change expert at the World-Wildlife Fund said.

French negotiators are demanding the inclusion in the communiqué of an explicit reference to the Kyoto agreement, which the US has refused to sign. That could leave the US isolated.

A senior French diplomat said: "We are aware that the US has not signed up to Kyoto. This is a fact of life.

"We would like to see clear references to the Kyoto protocol in the communiqué. The EU has taken a very united stance on Kyoto. It was very influential in getting Russia to sign up."

Mr Blair hinted yesterday that he would try to sidestep the issue by seeking agreement with the US on future action. He said in a webchat on the G8: "We have had a disagreement with America over Kyoto. The question is, in 2012 can we put in place a new process that informs America and establishes a consensus for action involving both the developed world and the emerging economies like India and China? I hope the G8 can make progress here."

Downing Street signalled last night that Britain would resist being forced to join France and Germany in a 7-1 standoff against Mr Bush at the summit. A senior cabinet minister said Britain would adopt the role of honest brokers as hosts of the G8 conference.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We are approaching this as the president of the G8. Serious negotiations are going on."

However, President Chirac is determined to hold Mr Blair to the principles for climate change that the UK has set out in the past. "We are very supportive of the UK on the G8," said the French source. "We share the view with Blair that the two main topics of development aid and climate change are equally important and are linked.

"It is in Africa that the effects of climate change will be felt most. The two go hand in hand. It doesn't make sense to increase development aid if that effort is going to be wasted as a result of unchallenged climate change."

On the development issue, Gordon Brown will reinforce the commitment to cutting African debt in a speech today. Mr Blair said he would be wearing the "Make Poverty History'' white wrist band at the G8.

However, the charity Oxfam has warned that an attempt in the G8 to delay aid delivery from 2006 until 2010 would leave almost a $100bn (£56bn) gap that could see 55 million children die from poverty.

"There have been reports that the US is saying it will increase aid, but the delivery date will be delayed to 2010. Our figures show that if the aid were delivered next year, it would be nearly $100bn more," Oxfam said.

n Mr Blair will also push for a statement on the Middle East at the G8 Summit in an attempt to reinforce progress on the "road map" for Israel and Palestine.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital