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Blair changes his stance on the Kyoto Protocol
on september 25, 2005, the uk prime minister , Tony Blair, indirectly divulged his intentions of not supporting the Kyoto Protocol -- a global treaty to combat climate change. Blair in the special opening plenary session of the Clinton global initiative, ' Perspectives of the global challenges of our time', held in New York and hosted by the former us president Bill Clinton, said, "...I think, whether for reasons to do with concern over global warming or energy security and supplies, I think this issue is coming together in an important way...I'm changing my thinking about this in the past two or three years. I think if we are going to get action on this, we have got to start with brutal honesty about the politics of how we deal with it. The truth is -- no country is going to cut its growth or consumption substantially in the light of a long-term environmental problem. What countries are prepared to do is to try to work together cooperatively to deal with this problem in a way that allows us to develop science and technology in a beneficial way."
To many, this statement indicates Blair's changed views on combating global warming, which mirror those of us P resident George Bush, and oppose negotiating international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol. Blair's admission flies in the face of his promises made in the past two years when he had made climate change one of the major themes of his chairmanship of the g 8 group, comprising of the world's richest nations.
Eyebrows being raised on the findings of ipcc -- a premier scientific organization, which assesses the worldwide impacts of climate change -- is a good enough indicator of uk's changing position. During the New York debate, Blair (like president Bush) enthusiastically focused on technology-led solutions -- a proposition rejected by environmental campaigners and some Third World leaders. Tony Juniper, executive director of the international campaign group, Friends of the Earth, criticised the prime minister's comments as 'extremely retrograde and dangerous'.
In spite of these assurances, environmental groups are unconvinced about Blair's intentions. More importantly, the g-20 is watching.