» Wednesday, February 2, 2005


Asked how important the Prime Minister thought it was to have US backing for the G8 goals of climate change and Africa issues, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said the Prime Minister addressed that issue in Davos last week. In terms of climate change, for example, although people had protested that the US had not joined up to the Kyoto agreement, what was important was that we got the US to engage in the issue. That was why there was a climate change conference in Exeter this week, as a scientific consensus was needed, not only on the dangers of climate change, but also on the likely ways to address the problem. By achieving a consensus, the Prime Minister believed we could then move forward, and obviously the US was an important part of that process. In terms of Africa, there already were consensuses on debt relief and HIV/AIDS, and the US contributions on both those areas should in no way be underestimated. Equally, the whole point of the Commission for Africa Report was to build a world-wide consensus, again on identifying the key issues where progress was needed. Those issues were not only what the world could do to help Africa, but also what Africa itself could do on issues such as governance and conflict resolution.

Asked if it was a concern to the Prime Minister that Washington had not backed the Chancellor’s IFF Programme, and would this be something the Prime Minister would be discussing with Condoleezza Rice, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister had underlined at Davos how important he thought it was. What was important was that we reached a consensus; the Chancellor had been talking with his American opposite numbers about it. People had to be persuaded and engaged.

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1 Comment »

  1. This US President and his boss, Dick Cheney, in their last term consistently refuted the claims of almost every respected scientific organisation in the US and the rest of the world on the subjects of climate change, Peak oil, and so on – even organisations which had previously been used to provide guidance for policy. The Prime Minister knows this, and by extension so does the PMOS. Why should a scientific conference in Exeter hold any sway with the US? Empty rhetoric, no more.

    What is "important" here is for Tony B.Liar to demonstrate some of the supposed "special relationship", on the strength of which we followed the US into Iraq, to get something concrete from the Yanks. Not a bloody "consensus", because we know by now that climate change, global warming, call it what you will, is a real thing. The only people of note who have ever denied the existence of global warming are the people who have a vested interest in the status quo. It’s like "The Life Of Brian" all over again, isn’t it? "Right, this calls for immediate new discussion"…

    The same with Africa; again, it calls for more immediate new discussion. Why?!?! We KNOW what the problems are. Equal trading rights, for a start off – which the US refuses to consider purely out of self-interest. Access to affordable drugs for various diseases (AIDS and so on), which the pharmaceutical giants and by extension (because of the politicians and donors on their boards) the US government again refuse to consider. And on it goes.

    ENOUGH ALREADY! You’ve talked the talk for long enough, Bliar; now walk the damn’ walk…

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 3 Feb 2005 on 1:42 am | Link

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