Blair looks to climate change breakthrough

Tony Blair has said that the world is close to achieving a breakthrough on climate change.

Concluding the five-day world economic forum (WEF) conference at Davos in Switzerland, the prime minister emphasised the importance of action on climate change among both emerging and established countries in order to mitigate the impact of global warming.

Pointing out that Britain accounts for only two per cent of global carbon emissions at present, Mr Blair said that it was up to larger nations to accept responsibility for the Earth’s climate.

“If Britain shut down our emissions entirely and closed down the country – not the legacy I want – the growth in China’s emissions would make up the difference within just two years,” he said.

“Without the biggest economies being part of a framework to reduce carbon dependence we have no earthly hope of success.”

Mr Blair added that leadership in the G8, talks with China and India and a “quantum shift” in US thinking on the issue meant that “we are potentially on the verge of a breakthrough”.

During his stay in Davos the prime minister has embarked on a series of diplomatic meetings with other major players on the world stage, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, anti-poverty campaigner Bono and presidents Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and Thabo Mbeki, of Brazil and South Africa respectively.

Referring to major growing economies like India and China, Mr Blair said: “They’ve every imperative to be part of a deal provided it is one that allows them to grow their economies so that they spread the prosperity they are creating to the millions in those countries still in poverty.

“Any agreement that does not have binding commitments from America, China and India is one that cannot deliver,” he added.