'I won't let the b*****s out until they've done a deal': Climate change envoy John Prescott reveals unusual approach to solving global warming

John Prescott

John Prescott: EU climate change envoy

The leaders of the U.S., China and India should be 'shoved' into a room at next month's global warming summit - and not allowed out until they reach an agreement, according to John Prescott.

Europe's climate change envoy revealed his controversial approach ahead of the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in two weeks.

Sixty state leaders will seek to thrash out the main points of a deal to follow the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which aims to reduce countries' CO2 emissions.

However, Labour's Mr Prescott, former deputy prime minister, tonight said it was imperative the U.S., China and India attend.

During a Commons debate, Mr Prescott, Rapporteur for Climate Change for the Council of Europe, told MPs: ‘I'm looking forward to that debate but I hope I've got the key to the door and (will) not let the b*****s out until they've done a deal.’

However, the leaders of the three countries are so far not planning to travel to the talks.

‘They must go to Copenhagen because at the end of the day, like at Kyoto, the leaders decided, it becomes a political fix whether we like it or not,’ Mr Prescott said.

‘What's useful about that is that nobody wants to be accused of breaking the agreement.

‘So we need to shove them all in the same room and tell them if you really mean change, if you're talking about our children ... sit in that damn room and come to an agreement - and don't let them out before that.’

Mr Prescott also spoke about the opposition from industry that seemed to be appearing ahead of the summit.

‘As we approach the situation now at Copenhagen, some of the similar lines of opposition are beginning to develop,’ he said.

‘What we found at Kyoto was a combination of people from the coal, the steel, the iron industries - all of them who are great carbon emitters - got together in America and went to Kyoto and said: "We can't accept this agreement."

‘And indeed thank goodness Kyoto ignored them and came to an agreement.

‘Already we begin to see the first signs developing now.’

In the U.S., ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ were being invested in campaigning against emissions targets, Mr Prescott added.

‘Just before you come to negotiations, they start throwing all the doubt in about the science ...

‘There seems to be a correlation that if you work for oil companies, you happen to be against the science - I just think that's perhaps a bit naughty really.’

There was ‘no doubt about the science’ on climate change, he said.