A brilliant day for diplomacy

Independent, 25 July 2001:

Michael Meacher describes the agreement on climate change reached in Bonn as “a brilliant day for the environment” (report, 24 July). Actually it was a brilliant day for diplomacy, which is a different matter altogether.

The environment does not appreciate the political skills needed to stitch together an agreement encompassing 186 nations. It responds only to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which will continue to increase at a marginally slower rate than before, though even that is in doubt if the US stays outside the protocol.

Nothing could epitomise more clearly the growing – disenchantment with conventional politics than the chasm which is opening up between the political rhetoric and the environmental reality of climate change.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire