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Wording target

Nick Robinson | 08:52 UK time, Thursday, 7 June 2007

G8 SUMMIT, HEILIGENDAMM, GERMANY: I am waiting for the last public words together of the West's best friends - Tony and George. A few weeks ago at their last summit in Washington the President admitted that that the Prime Minister's consistent backing for him has caused lasting damage. Now - though he would never say so - Tony Blair wants George Bush to back him on climate change.

Mr Blair is determined to use his last visit to the world's most exclusive club not as a photo opportunity but an opportunity to get a meaningful agreement. He - and his ally, Angela Merkel who is hosting this summit - have already had one setback. They hoped to persuade the Americans to back a target for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. "No way" was the US reply, even before this summit began. It is not the job, they insist, of the G8 to set targets for individual countries.

So, the negotiations now focus on persuading Bush to agree to the principle of setting targets and to a form of words - "substantial cut" perhaps - which limit his wriggle room. In addition, Blair and Merkel want wording that makes clear that the climate change talks the US plans to host feed into rather than become an alternative to the UN's post-Kyoto process.

PS Lest you think this time by the seaside is impossibly glamorous, I was forced out of bed four hours ago i.e. before 5am to go through security in the hope of asking one question.


  • 1.
  • At 09:11 AM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • Tony Burleton wrote:

I read your "... before 5am" as "before Sam". You'll have to look hard to tell the difference.
I appreciate your reporting.
All good wishes. Tony Burleton.

  • 2.
  • At 03:46 PM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • Lara Aziz wrote:

Why complain about your anti-social hours? I do not complain that I have to stack shelves all night in a supermarket. Aren't long hours what journalism invaraibly involves? And, admit it, you love it all really. All the buzz and the dawn starts and the late finishes. Your complaint reveals much. You are, of course, used to a deal of glamour in your role. Flying out on the same jet as Tony Blair wasn't exactly slumming it was it? You're just miffed that you're stuck in media-infested hotel by a bleak beach with numbered deckchairs, on the Baltic. I would gladly take your salary with zero complaint about working hours or lack of glamour.

  • 3.
  • At 12:59 PM on 08 Jun 2007,
  • Samir wrote:

"They tried to persuade Bush to agree to the principle of setting targets."

You mean they didn't have to persuade him first that such a thing as the greenhouse effect and human-induced global warming existed?

Ah, it seems George is catching up with the times!

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