Clash over climate

Independent, 16 June 2001:

In March Tony Blair made a speech at Chatham House in which he claimed that Britain was a world leader on climate change. There was precious little evidence of that in Gothenburg. Not only did he arrive after the global warming debate had finished, he then spent the evening trying to pretend that the issue was soluble as long as the Atlantic alliance remained intact.

Either Tony Blair does not understand climate change, or he has seriously misjudged the American President. Mr Bush represents a country that produces 25 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and his only interest seems to be the profitability of the fossil fuel industry, an industry which helped put him in the White House in the first place.

He now threatens the viability of ecosystems which sustain life on this planet, and it will make no difference to those ecosystems whether Tony Blair remains friends with President Bush or not. It is time our Prime Minister grew up and recognised that some principles matter more than a cosy relationship.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire