Taking a cue from the US Democratic party, “senior political figures” from other G8 nations are already “lowering expectations dramatically yesterday over a G8 plan to tackle global warming”:
It also emerged that British officials were still battling with the White House over the inclusion of the word “urgent” in the statement.
Even long-term goals, such as the call to stop the planet’s temperature increasing by 2C since the industrial age began, are being sacrificed to ensure that President Bush signs the Gleneagles declaration.
The lowering of some of the more ambitious aims of the summit will be viewed with dismay by green campaigners, but officials remain adamant that even getting the Americans to talk about emissions with China and India is a major achievement.
According to one senior official, Tony Blair’s aim was simply to set out an action plan on greenhouse gases that would include meetings for a post- Kyoto “dialogue”.
Nevertheless, the ground is clearly being prepared for a communiqué that does not even state that mankind is responsible for global warming, which could seriously hamper agreement on how to combat the phenomenon.
This should be viewed with dismay, as anyone who hasn’t been hiding in a cave for the past five years should recognize that Dubya and company view negotiations as a one-sided proposition: “You give me what I want…” You would think the Europeans had learned some lessons about the effectiveness of appeasement.
I was a bit happier to see headlines like “Blair may snub US on climate,” but it should also be obvious that our fearless leaders don’t take hints well…
So, let’s get the French out front on this, since they clearly have no problem getting in Dubya’s face…
All the News Not Fit to Print (at least in the US): The Guardian and Observer digital editions