Culture: Guardian comes out with this semi-exclusive "scoop" about comments made by Tony Blair on Kyoto.
|Juliette Jowit, environment editor
Sunday September 25, 2005
Tony Blair was accused last night of backing down on the Kyoto agreement to tackle climate change after he confessed to 'changing my thinking about this'.
In comments earlier this month which have only just emerged, the Prime Minister talked about a 'post-Kyoto' era, appearing to predict the death of the multi-lateral treaty. A total of 156 nations have signed it, but the US, the world's biggest polluter, has refused to do so.
In a debate, hosted by former US President Bill Clinton in New York, Blair said he was not hopeful of another major agreement on targets to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for climate change.
Instead, he talked enthusiastically about focusing on technology-led solutions, the process favoured by America, Japan, China and India, but rejected by environmental campaigners and other leaders, including Britain's own minister responsible for climate change minister.|
If you mean "just emerged" by James Pinkerton on 09/16/05
|NEW YORK - Kyoto Treaty RIP. That's not the headline in any newspaper this morning emerging from the first day of the Clinton Global Initiative, but it could have been -- and should have been.
Onstage with former president Bill Clinton at a midtown Manhattan hotel ballroom, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was going to speak with "brutal honesty" about Kyoto and global warming, and he did. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had some blunt talk, too.
Blair, a longtime supporter of the Kyoto treaty, further prefaced his remarks by noting, "My thinking has changed in the past three or four years." So what does he think now? "No country, he declared, "is going to cut its growth." That is, no country is going to allow the Kyoto treaty, or any other such global-warming treaty, to crimp -- some say cripple -- its economy.
Looking ahead to future climate-change negotiations, Blair said of such fast-growing countries as India and China, "They're not going to start negotiating another treaty like Kyoto." India and China, of course, weren't covered by Kyoto in the first place, which was one of the fatal flaws in the treaty. But now Blair is acknowledging the obvious: that after the current Kyoto treaty -- which the US never acceded to -- expires in 2012, there's not going to be another worldwide deal like it. |