» Monday, June 4, 2007

Climate Change

Asked if we still wanted a carbon emissions reductions target, did we still favour a global carbon market and did we think that this all had to be done ultimately through the UN, the PMOS replied that we thought that President Bush’s speech was important because for the first time, President Bush not only said that this was a serious problem that had to be addressed, but that the US wanted to be part of a global framework in which it was addressed. The US had not said that before, and that was significant. President Bush also said that part of that had to be setting a global limit on emissions. Again, that had not been said before. The PMOS said that the question was no longer whether there should be a global framework or a global limit, but rather, the question was how and when people got to that process and got results. Those were questions which did not just involve us and Europe, or indeed the US, but also India and China. In terms of the progress that we wanted to see made, we obviously wanted to see progress as far as possible, but the question was how far could we get at the summit. We had not lowered our ambitions at all, but the question was how far down the road could we get to.

Asked further about President Bush’s comments and could they still work ultimately with the UN, the PMOS said that the idea that the US was calling a conference of the top 12 emitters in the autumn as a way of lowering the profile of the issue seemed rather contradictory. People didn’t call conferences if they were trying to avoid the limelight. The PMOS asked if we believed that any process should be complementary to the UN conference? Answer: of course, because that was the recognised process. These were issues that people would want to address at the G8.

Asked about the emissions targets and the carbon market in terms of Kyoto, and were they still there, the PMOS replied that our position was that we wanted to push matters as far as we could. It was for the G8 to decide how far we got to. The PMOS said we had to see what had happened by the end of the week.

Asked what was the response to people who said that because of President Putin’s statement, it should be a meeting of the G7, not G8, the PMOS said that the question that always had to be asked was: was it better to have a dialogue within the tent or without the tent. In terms of Russia’s role in the world, Russia did have contributions to make, not just on Iran or Kosovo, but on all the other global issues. Therefore, it was far better to have those addressed within the G8.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

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